Combine overtime with a holiday week and the questions about pay seem
to multiply. A reader recently described a week when they worked 48
hours, Monday through Saturday and a holiday landed during one of the
weekdays. They wrote that they were paid time and a half, holiday pay,
for the holiday so the employer said this covered Saturday.
Overtime Pay is Not a Game
Not so fast. Yes, it sounds like the employee received total pay of 52
hours; 40 hours straight time plus 8 hours at time and 1/2. But if the
employer policy paid employees who work on a holiday time and a half
the same employee should have been paid additional time and a half in
the form of overtime for the extra hours worked on Saturday.
I bet the paycheck reflected the time as holiday pay just like every
other employee check. Sure an employer can create a policy that does
not give holiday pay to employees who work on a holiday. This is
unlikely to create an employee relations success story. I doubt an
employer could get away with a plan stating that employees won’t earn
holiday pay if they work overtime in the same work week.Sounds like an
obvious way to avoid wage and hour compliance.
Communicate a Clear Consistent Holiday Pay Policy
There is no federal requirement to pay holiday pay. Whatever policy you
decide it is essential that it is communicated and applied consistently
while also being mindful of any applicable state or local
regulations.Employers can change a policy but this too must be
communicated in advance, not the week after a holiday occurs.
Enjoy the Memorial Holiday weekend making certain that any holiday
policy and procedures are clear before you head for the beach. It’s a
great time of year to enjoy some fun and games as long as they don’t
involve employee pay.