Am I entitled to special holiday pay under California law?

The holidays are approaching, and California workers may be wondering what their rights are if they must work over Christmas or the New Year’s holidays. The following is a brief overview of holiday work under California law, but know that this post does not contain legal advice and those with further questions on how the law applies to them may want to seek professional guidance.

Is holiday work mandatory in California?

In California, those who have to work on holidays are treated the same as those who work on non-holidays. The law does not require employers to increase pay on holidays worked or give workers holidays off, although employers may choose to do so voluntarily through policy or a collective bargaining agreement. Employers are not required to close for holidays.

Do I get overtime pay for working holidays in California?

Overtime worked on holidays is treated the same as overtime worked other times of the year. This means that it only is required when a person works more than eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek. Employers can voluntarily choose to pay a higher holiday rate of pay, or they can choose to agree to such pay in a collective bargaining agreement. Therefore, employees do have rights under state overtime laws to protection if they qualify for overtime pay by working on holidays.

Seek help if you believe your rights to overtime were violated

So, while you may have to work on the holiday, you still are entitled to payment for hours worked, including overtime as defined by California law. If you believe your employer violated state wage and hour laws, you may want to seek the advice of an employment law attorney so you can learn more about your rights and options.