Holidays in the Workplace

Many workers believe that they are automatically entitled to take paid time off work on holidays. This, however, is an incorrect assumption. Most employees in California are given time off work on holidays, but employers do not legally have to give you this time off.


If your employer does agree to give you this time off, they do not have to pay you. Though in reality, many employees are paid for time taken off for public holidays, and indeed many businesses shut down completely on these days.


This article looks at how to find out whether you are entitled to take time off holidays and, if so whether you will be paid for this time off and whether there is a maximum amount of statutory holiday time that you, as an employee, are entitled to.

California does not have to provide Thanksgiving off

All the employers should have to provide holidays that are religious to their employees who may include: Christmas, Independence Day, and also New Year day. It is major for the employers to observe their religious beliefs. However, it is not the duty of the employer to give some extra payment as thanks for the work you are doing on regular unobserved holidays.

No extra payment for work done on federal holidays

Under the laws of California, it is not the duty of your employer to pay you anything extra for the work that you do on federal holidays. What you are entitled to is the payment for working your eight hours, any overtime after 8 hours in a day and also over forty hours in a work week. You may be lucky if your employer has an agreement with employees that they should be paid extra in such situations.

Your contract of employment will stipulate what your holiday entitlement is and whether you are, as part of your terms and conditions of employment, permitted to take time off on holidays.
Employers should give accommodations for religious reasons

In some situations, employees may not be able to work on special federal holidays for religious reasons. In such cases, the employer must give the necessary accommodations for their employees for their individual religious observances. Such accommodations should be critically analyzed for specific cases by the type of the business and the accommodation itself

In some, situations, the government occasionally grants an additional bank or public holiday to celebrate a special occasion (such as the Royal Wedding for UK workers.) If your employment contract is not providing you with the information you need with regards to your right to take time off on holidays, you should speak to your human resources manager for clarification.