(Source: JacksonLewis, by Jacklin Rad & Ikedi O. Onyemaobim – October 31, 2023)

As we move into the holiday season, employers may have questions about handling wages and the holidays. Here are four things employers should understand about holidays and pay for hourly (non-exempt) employees:

  1. Hours worked on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday should be treated like hours worked on any other day. Employers do not have to pay a special premium for work performed on these days. This does not include any overtime premiums required for work performed over eight hours in a workday, 40 hours in a workweek, or for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day. Depending on the number of hours worked each day of the workweek, a double-time premium for work performed may be required.
  2. Employers are not required to provide paid time off for holidays. An employer may choose to be closed for the holidays and not pay employees.
  3. Paid time off for holidays does not count toward the overtime requirement. If an employer elects to provide paid holidays off, the hours paid, but not worked do not count toward overtime.
  4. Per California law, if a payday falls on a holiday the employer may pay on the next business day after the holiday. The California Government Code identifies the following holidays:
  • January 1 — New Year’s Day
  • Third Monday in January — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 12 — Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
  • Third Monday in February — George Washington’s Birthday
  • March 31 – Cesar Chaves Day
  • Last Monday in May — Memorial Day
  • July 4 — Independence Day
  • First Monday in September — Labor Day
  • September 9 – Admission Day
  • Fourth Friday in September – Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Second Monday in October — Columbus Day
  • November 11 — Veterans Day
  • Fourth Thursday in November — Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25 — Christmas
  • Other days appointed by the governor for a public fast, thanksgiving, or holiday


If you are a California employer and unsure about how holiday pay regulations impact your business, let our human resource experts here at CalWorkSafety & HR help. Our team is experienced in all aspects of California wage regulations and can help your business stay compliant. Contact us at https://www.calworksafety.com/contact-us or call (949) 413-6821.