In California, there is no state law requiring employers to close or give employees time off for any holidays. However, companies can choose to do so for a variety of reasons. Employees should understand their employer’s policies on holiday pay and should check their employment contracts or consult with their supervisor to determine how paid holidays are handled in their workplaces.
While there is no California law requiring private employers to offer workers paid holidays, employees may be entitled to holiday pay under their employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements. In addition, many employees may be eligible for overtime if they work on holidays, Saturdays and Sundays in accordance with standard overtime laws.
For example, if an employee is scheduled to work 10 hours on Christmas, he or she will be paid his or her regular rate for the first 8 hours of the shift, and then paid 1.5 times their regular rate for the remaining 2 hours in accordance with applicable minimum wage and overtime pay laws. However, if the worker has been promised holiday pay in their employment contract or as a part of a union’s bargaining agreement, then they must be paid accordingly.
The California Labor Law Helpline at CalChamber can answer your questions about federal and state holidays, including which ones are mandatory to recognize in the workplace. Employees should also be aware that they cannot be retaliated against or punished for requesting or using paid sick leave on state or national holidays.