Overtime Pay During the Holidays, What Are You Entitled to Receive?

Holiday pay is not required by federal law unless overtime is worked on those days. The Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the act that governs this issue.

The Department of Labor states that, according to the FLSA, employees, “must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek of at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime hours are worked on such days.”

In this Litigation Guide article, we outline the federal laws for pay during the holidays.

Contracts and Holiday Pay

If you work under a contract, you might be eligible for overtime pay. Most workers do receive extra pay for working during a holiday, and the extra pay is often guaranteed by the contract. If you are part of a labor union, ask your union representative what the level of pay is for working on a holiday.

If you don’t have a lot of seniority and your place of business is open on holidays, you might not have a choice but to work. If you have enough seniority to choose not to work on a holiday, you might find that that the increased pay is attractive enough to make you decide to use your seniority to choose a holiday shift.

Non-Contract Employees

In workplaces without labor unions, the situation is very much the same. If your place of employment is open on holidays, you may get scheduled based on a lack of seniority. The exception would be that if enough workers with more seniority choose holiday shifts for the extra pay, you may get bumped from the schedule.

If your regular work day falls on a holiday, and you are scheduled, you may be able to switch shifts with someone who wants holiday pay if you don’t. Be sure to follow company policy on switching shifts.

Working on Holidays

Most places of business pay at least time and a half, or 1.5 times normal pay, for working on a holiday. Some pay double time and a few pay triple time. It’s a good opportunity to put extra holiday cash in your pocket, and many families are willing to schedule their holiday gatherings around those who are working.

While you have no federal right to extra pay for holidays, it may be offered by your employer, and it represents a chance to earn a little extra that always comes in handy that time of year.

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