Posted on December 22, 2015

Ask HR: Am I Required to Pay Overtime to Employees Who Work on Holidays?

Christmas is almost here and it will be closely followed by New Year's Day. Some workers are fortunate enough to have the holidays off, but for others, it's business as usual even on holidays.

It makes sense then that our friends at HR Support Center were recently asked the question, do I have to pay overtime to employees who work on holidays?

Are we required to pay overtime to employees who work on holidays?

Answer from Sarah, HR Pro:
Whether you pay extra for work done on holidays is up to you. There is no federal law that requires an employer to pay extra for work on holidays. However, some states, such as Massachusetts, require work for certain employers on holidays to be voluntary and paid at time and a half.

As for overtime, if an employee has already worked 40 hours during that workweek, and then works on a holiday, the holiday should be paid at the applicable overtime rate.

While usually not required by law, offering additional pay for work on holidays can be a nice financial incentive and reward. A few suggestions for doing so:

* Pay time and a half or double time for all hours worked on the holiday;

* Add an extra eight hours to the checks of employees who worked; or

* Place eight hours into a “floating holiday” bank for employees who worked so they can take time off at a later date.

If you decide to provide additional pay for holidays, be sure to do so in a non-discriminatory and consistent manner for all employees.

Sarah, HR ProSarah has extensive Human Resources experience in the legal, software, security and property preservation industries. She has a Business Communications degree from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a master’s certificate in Human Resources Management and a Strategic Organizational Leadership certification from Villa Nova University. Sarah is also a member of the National Society of Human Resources Management and has managed the HR function for small startup companies to mid-sized/large organizations.

Do you have questions like this? A year of HR Support Center is cheaper than an hour of a typical attorney's time. Ask us instead.

Still wanting to know more about overtime laws? Check out our 7 step guide to handling the Department of Labor's proposed rule changes.