Happy Holidays! With the holidays upon us, it is a good time for employers to review their holiday schedule and these five reminders about holidays and holiday pay under California law.

1. California employers are not required to provide employees time off for holidays.

There is no requirement that California employers provide time off (except for religious accommodations – see below) for holidays. California’s DLSE’s website states the following:

Hours worked on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week. California law does not require that an employer provide its employees with paid holidays, that it close its business on any holiday, or that employees be given the day off for any particular holiday.

2. California employers are not required to pay for time off for holidays, nor are they required to pay additional wages if employees work on holidays.

Likewise, there is no requirement that employers pay employees extra pay or “holiday pay” for work performed on holidays. Employers can voluntarily agree to pay employees extra pay for work that is required during holidays, but these terms would be governed by policy set forth by the employer. Therefore, employers are urged to make sure their holiday pay policies are clearly set forth.

3. Employers have to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who cannot work on certain holidays due to religious observances.

Employers need to be aware, however, of any religious observances of their employees. Employers need to provide reasonable accommodations for employees due to their religions. The analysis of what is a reasonable accommodation will be a case by case analysis based on the company’s type of business and the accommodation requested by the employee. If the employer operates a company that requires employees to work during normally recognized holidays, such as a restaurant, then this should be communicated to employees in handbooks or other policies and set the expectation that an essential function of the job requires work during normal holidays.

4. If an employer does provide for paid holidays, the employer does not have to allow employees to accrue paid time off.

If an employee leaves employment before the holiday actually arrives, employers are not required to pay the employee for these days off.

5. If a pay day falls on certain holidays, and the employer is closed, the employer may pay the wages on the next business day.

If an employer is closed on holidays listed in the California Government Code, then the employer may pay wages on the next business day.