Working on a Holiday
Whether you have to work on a holiday depends on who you work for, whether you are covered by a union contract, and company policy regarding holidays.
If you work for the Federal Government, you'll get nine paid holidays each year including New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day (4th of July), Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Many private employers follow the same holiday schedule and also provide holiday days off or holiday pay for working on a holiday.
In addition, companies are not required to give you holidays off from work. Many employers, especially in retail and hospitality, are open on holidays and conducting business as usuals. Workers are expected to work holidays and are typically paid their normal pay rate.
Holiday pay is compensation for holidays, like Thanksgiving Day, or other time not worked (like vacation) when a business may be closed or the employee is permitted to take time off from work. If a company provides holiday pay, the employee will still get paid even though they don't have to work on the holiday.
Employers are not required to pay extra (time and a half or double time, for example) for working on a holiday unless you have a contract that stipulates that you will earn extra pay for working on a holiday.
Wages and salary are regulated by The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations or holidays. These benefits are generally an arrangement between an employer and an employee or the employee's representative i.e. a union or other collective bargaining agent.
As far as the timing of when holidays are observed in the workplace, when a holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is usually observed on Monday if the holiday falls on Sunday and usually observed on Friday if the holiday falls on Saturday.
Holiday Work Schedules
Companies typically publish a list of holidays they observe at the beginning of each year. Check with your manager or your Human Resources department to get an upcoming holiday schedule for the current year or future years.
Questions About Your Schedule or Pay
If you have questions about your work schedule or holiday pay or would like to request a holiday off from work, check with your manager or your Human Resources department as early as you can. The more notice you give your employer, the more flexibility they will have to try to accommodate your request.
Related Articles and Advice
Holiday pay is compensation for holidays, like 4th of July, or other time not worked when a business may be closed or the employee is permitted to take time off from work.
List of Federal Holidays
List of holidays observed by the Federal Government.
Information on holidays, including holiday pay, holiday time-off from work, holiday schedules, and holiday calendars.