California Holiday Pay Laws

Many hardworking California employees hope to make extra cash this busy holiday season. But does working on a holiday entitle workers to special holiday pay? California holiday pay laws can be confusing, and the answer generally depends on whether you worked overtime on a holiday or just regular hours.

If you have questions about California holiday pay laws or are unsure whether your employer violated wage and hour rules, speaking with a lawyer can be helpful. At Bibiyan Law Group, P.C., our experienced employment lawyers can answer your questions about state and federal pay laws in California and help you understand your rights. We’ve got your back and will fight to ensure your boss treats you justly and respectfully. Contact us today to speak with an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney!

In the meantime, let’s break holiday pay down and discuss what it is, who’s eligible, and what you can do if your employer violates California’s labor regulations.

Do California Employers Have to Pay Employees Extra on Holidays?

California doesn’t have a specific holiday pay rule, unlike some states with employee holiday pay laws requiring employers to pay time and a half for holiday work. So even if you clock in on Christmas or New Year’s Day, your employer is only legally required to pay you more than your regular wage if you work overtime. However, some generous employers voluntarily add holiday overtime pay to employee paychecks. And once an employer promises to pay extra for holiday work, legally, they must uphold that promise.

Who Does Get Holiday Overtime Pay?

If you’re a non-exempt worker, meaning your employer pays you hourly and not a set salary, you’re eligible for overtime pay if you work overtime hours. If you work on a holiday and it causes you to exceed your regular hours, you should see some extra cash. In comparison, exempt employees like professionals and executives will not. Unsure whether you’re an “exempt” or “non-exempt” employee? Our attorneys at Bibiyan Law Group can help you figure it out. You can also check out California’s Wage Orders for more info.

Are Holiday Overtime Pay Rules the Same for All Exempt Employees in California?

No. Some jobs follow different wage and hour standards. For example, specific trades, like agricultural and medical industries, have their own overtime and holiday pay rules. Employers may also provide supplemental holiday pay or perks for working holidays as part of their employment agreement, even when they don’t have to. These extra benefits vary based on the company’s policies and practices, and it’s up to the employer to decide what to offer. Additionally, collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts often have specific holiday overtime pay provisions. In these cases, the agreement overrides California’s holiday overtime labor laws.

How Does the Math Work for Non-Exempt Employees Working Overtime on Holidays?

In California, a regular workday is typically eight hours. But if you clock in for more than eight hours, cross the 40-hour weekly limit, or work for six straight days, the hours you put in on a holiday beyond these thresholds earn you holiday overtime pay

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll get:

  • One and a half times your regular pay rate for hours worked beyond 8, up to 12 hours in a workday; or
  • Double your pay rate for working more than 12 hours in a workday or more than 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of the week.

Remember, these rules apply whether you work overtime on a regular day or a holiday.

What Can I Do If My Boss Skimps on Earned Holiday Overtime?

Employers who knowingly dance around labor laws can face penalties and fines. If your boss doesn’t pay you your earned holiday overtime, you can file a wage claim online with the California Department of Industrial Relations Labor Commissioner’s Office. But it’s a good idea to consult an employment attorney first. They’ll review your claim, investigate the situation, and steer you toward the best course of action, ensuring you meet all requirements and deadlines before filing.

Experience the Bibiyan Law Group Difference

If you have questions about holiday overtime pay or if your employer refuses to pay you what it owes you, we can help. At Bibiyan Law Group, we specialize exclusively in employment law issues, bringing decades of laser-focused experience to the ring. We never treat our clients like case numbers but as valued workers who deserve our time, help, and personal attention. If you’re struggling with employment issues, we’ll assess your situation, talk you through your rights, and go to bat for you until you achieve a desirable outcome. We’ve netted tens of millions of dollars for employees who’ve faced unfair employment practices; reach out to us today to discover how we can assist you. Reach out to our team for a free, confidential legal consultation; you never pay fees unless we win.

Author Photo

David Bibiyan is a distinguished attorney at Tomorrow Law, renowned for his expertise in employment law. With a strong focus on representing employees in various workplace disputes, he has become a trusted advocate for those facing discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour issues. Bibiyan’s approach is characterized by a deep understanding of both state and federal employment laws, ensuring that his clients receive knowledgeable and effective representation. His commitment to justice is evident in his dedication to each case, where he meticulously works to secure the best possible outcomes for his clients. Bibiyan’s reputation is built on a foundation of successful case resolutions, marked by his skillful negotiation and, when necessary, aggressive litigation strategies. His work at Tomorrow Law reflects a genuine passion for defending workers’ rights and promoting fair employment practices.

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