A Business-Minded Approach To Employment Law

Know the Legal Requirements of Holiday Pay

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Employee Benefits, Employment Law |

The State of Florida does not require employers to pay an employee holiday pay. Many employers do, however, use it as an attractive benefit to gain and retain employees. Typically, if it is a benefit, holiday pay will be paid differently for salaried employees than what is paid to an hourly employee.

What is Considered Holiday Pay

Holiday pay is considered an employee benefit. This benefit is paid in the form of overtime pay for hours your employees work on a federal holiday. The holiday pay is typically one and half times the regular rate the employee is paid for normal hours.

Employers do, however, have the option of paying employees at the regular rate on the federal holidays instead of the time and a half. In the State of Florida, there are no state-specific holidays for holiday pay. Employers do have the option to offer the benefit of paid federal or national holidays though.

How Holiday Pay Works

In Florida, companies can offer holiday pay at these hourly pay rates:

  • Regular hourly wage
  • Time and a half wage
  • Double time wage

Under Florida law, an employer is not required to pay any holiday wages. The law only requires you to ensure employee agreements are met and followed. Any pay for holidays can be determined by you in regard to how much you’ll pay and which employees will receive this benefit. However, for hourly workers, employers must still pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Must Employers Allow Time Off for Holidays?

There is no federal law requiring an employer to provide time off, whether paid or not, for any employees on national holidays. As an employer, however, you are required to provide reasonable accommodation for the practice of religion for your employees. This requirement is necessary unless you are able to prove it would result in undue hardship for your business.

To comply with this requirement, many businesses provide a ‘floating holiday’ so employees can take the time they need for religious observance that is not built into your established holiday schedule. Courts recognize that unpaid time off is a reasonable accommodation and allows employees to use vacation days for religious observance. Employees are typically required to give their employer adequate notice when they plan to use their vacation time, and often cannot carry the time over into the next year.

Is Paid Time Off Counted as Hours Worked for Determining Overtime Pay?

An employer is not required to consider paid time off for holidays against paid hours worked when determining whether or not an employee is entitled to overtime pay. Employees must actually work 40 hours in a workweek before they can be considered eligible for overtime pay.

Paid holidays, sick leave hours, vacation pay, or other paid time off are not considered worked time. There are collective bargaining agreements that include additional provisions when determining overtime. If you have questions regarding your employee’s overtime compensation, talk to the experts at Danz Law. Overtime lawsuits can become costly and take time away from you running your business.

Where to Learn More About Legal Requirements of Holiday Pay

Danz Law is your advocate for business and employment law. We focus our practice on employment and labor law and are here for you as an adviser, risk manager, advocate, business consultant, and more to make sure your company is legally protected. Talk to us today about holiday or overtime pay and make sure you don’t become tangled in overtime lawsuits.