Are Employers Required to Give Holiday Pay or Paid Holidays? (2024)

holiday payCuando se trata de días festivos, muchos empleadores en California y en todo el país tienden a dar a los empleados el día libre remunerado (“vacaciones pagadas”) o un pago adicional por las horas trabajadas similar al pago de horas extras (“pago de días festivos”). Los días festivos pagados más comunes son:

  • Día de Año Nuevo
  • Día Conmemorativo
  • Pascua de Resurrección
  • Día de la Independencia (4 de julio)
  • Día laboral
  • día de Gracias
  • día de Navidad

Odio atenuar su alegría navideña, pero: ni la ley federal ni la ley de California exigen que los empleadores paguen los días festivos o los días festivos pagados. Esto es cierto ya sea que sea un empleado asalariado exento o un empleado remunerado por horas no exento. Entonces, si su empleador le paga las vacaciones, es fantástico. Si no, no hay mucho que puedas hacer, legalmente, al respecto.

Como de costumbre, hay excepciones: por ejemplo, si su empleador tiene una política o práctica de pago de vacaciones, si el pago de vacaciones se promete en su carta de oferta o acuerdo de empleo, si su acuerdo de negociación colectiva exige el pago de vacaciones, etc. El empleador puede estar obligado contractualmente a pagarle vacaciones pagadas o días festivos pagados. Si ese es el caso y le niegan el pago de vacaciones, debería considerar presentar una denuncia ante la junta laboral.

Por cierto, los estudios han demostrado que el tiempo libre remunerado aumenta la moral de los empleados y puede conducir a una mayor productividad y una reducción de la rotación de empleados. De acuerdo a Revista Forbes:

Si los empleados tomaran solo un día adicional de licencia ganada cada año, el resultado significaría $73 mil millones en producción para la economía estadounidense e impactos positivos tanto para los empleados como para las empresas.

Entonces, si su empleador se está comportando como un scrooge con respecto al pago de vacaciones, tal vez indíquele ese artículo de Forbes. O considere buscar un empleador más informado para trabajar. ¡Felices vacaciones!


Comentarios sobre 111

  1. susan s en abril 14, 2021 en 2:46 pm

    can a california employer give some holidays to some employees and not to others?
    my employer names 14 holidays for non-exempt employees in one department but only 13 for another department. is this legal? don’t all non-exempt employees need to be treated the same?

    • Becky en diciembre 7, 2022 en 4:09 pm

      I haven’t been able to find an answer to this myself. Good question!

  2. don'treally wannasay en septiembre 14, 2020 en 4:28 pm

    i normally work 4x 10 hr days,
    my employer gave us a paid holiday for memorial day,

    i was told it was based off of the previous week worked, but i had 4x 10 hr days,
    i was here on a 5th day to make up hours and address an infected system *( i do IT and other content related functions ),

    if i had previously known, i would of made sure my make up hours were correct, instead of 2 hrs, off,

    its only 2 hours off, so im not going to peruse or bring it up with them, but that is $36 im out to some extent,

    *(truly i would of rather just taken the day off and worked the other 4x days of the week and just voided it, and it would not of been an issue)

    but calculating my hrs with this unknown variable was frustrating, i would of accounted for it,
    personally, and by will of my own, i worked an extra 3 hrs that day to finish up a virus removal and data migration, mainly loading bars, i figured i was at my 80hrs for the period, and i just hung out off the clock until the tail end of my loading bars and updates were done, just to finish that task before the weekend, *(the accountants personal system was infected so it was an imperative repair, but i was not trying to rack up O.T. for a few loading bars that took longer than expected. )

    is this something they should openly discuss before payday?

    i did ask them to define the paid holiday thing and if i should just move my days around a given holiday, i don’t really care for the holiday pay,- getting something for nothing,
    i just want my hours / pay to be consistent and to account for it.

    what should i do in this situation ?

    • don'treally wannasay en septiembre 14, 2020 en 4:33 pm

      to add, the first week of the period was 40 hrs, the second week was a few off, had some issue with the fires near my house Tuesday and Wednesday to see if we needed to be evacuated, and they evacuated the next town over, but not my town, so i was making up hrs on Friday because of that. but that was the week of the holiday, so i don’t believe it should affect that, just wanted to close up the holes in my description above

  3. Carl en marzo 23, 2020 en 2:34 am

    It was very good article and love reading it also the comments

  4. Heidi Hamilton en diciembre 10, 2019 en 12:32 pm

    Our company has merchandisers who work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday due to stores hours. If we switch a holiday for their normal day off (say, work Wednesday and take Thursday off for Thanksgiving) are we entitled to also pay 8 hours of Holiday pay if they still get their two days off during the week?

  5. kim en junio 6, 2019 en 9:41 am

    We are a company that uses union labor. Our company policy is to pay our administration employees certain holidays but we neither work or pay the union laborers. Is it ok to pay some and not others?

    • Dave en julio 18, 2019 en 7:01 am

      I’m interested to hear the answer to that…I think it’s a terrific policy.

  6. garcia en marzo 4, 2019 en 4:41 pm

    are holidays considered vacations in california..

    • Juan S en septiembre 10, 2020 en 3:01 pm

      Hi, my company pays for holidays as stated on my contract, so we dont work on these days, but recently my boss asked to walk the property randomly from 8am to 5pm and make sure the property is fine (im a handyman). So I walked the property 6 times during the day but my boss only wants to pay me for 4 hours. Is this right?

      • Steve en noviembre 26, 2020 en 3:39 pm

        No, this is not correct. You should be getting for the full hours that YOU WORKED. I would recommend filing a work complaint.

    • Romeo Ybanez en noviembre 13, 2022 en 2:39 pm

      In Australia holiday means vacation days.

  7. qadeerqatar en febrero 13, 2019 en 2:08 am

    If an employer ask you to work on a Christmas holiday, shouldn’t that suppose to be double pay overtime?

    • Chase en marzo 30, 2022 en 3:42 pm

      No. It is not federal law, nor California law. Only if your employer chooses to do so. Check your employee handbook.

  8. KVB en enero 10, 2019 en 10:59 am

    Hello! While employers are not required to provide pay for holidays, are there holidays in the state of California that an employer must legally give off (even if it is without pay)?

  9. Shawna Chewning en enero 9, 2019 en 9:54 am

    I was receiving holiday pay from my employer and my job ended in August 2018. I didn’t work any hours after that but they had work but wouldn’t work me because I heard from several other employees it was because I was a woman and they felt a woman shouldn’t be in that line of work. I continued to get paid only for holiday pay for the next couple of months and I went to HR with my concern and 2 days later they let go 4 women and 1 man. I was one of those women. My final pay was for January 4th 2019 but I received no holiday pay for Christmas or New Years when they were already paying me Holiday pay. Am I still entiteled to those last two days worth of holiday pay? I feel cheated out of pay as well as feeling Discriminated against because I am a woman. My husband works for the same company and trained me on everything I know and learned about my job and line of work. The supervisor over me at the time told me to go back to school to get my certificates when I spoke with him about other work within the company ( work they were far behind in) and he told me he had no doubt that I was more then capable of doing the work for that position yet he gave the work to a guy who knew nothing about that position and who never received any kind of training on that job title. I had hands on training and knew how to do that job title and the other guy they gave the position to never received any school training or any kind of certificates yet they gave the position to him and told me to go to school for 6 months. Then I got word that position didn’t work out for the other guy and after that was when I heard that some of the guys felt a woman was not capable of doing the work because the other guy messed things up so basically how can a woman do any better….? I feel very cheated out of my chance to prove myself that I can do a job just as much as a guy can if given the opportunity or proper training. In this case I already had the training and skills as well as the knowledge of the position I was seeking and two other women who were laid off the same day as myself also had the skills and the knowledge of that line of work yet it was the women who got laid off when I know for a fact they are still behind in that line of work to meet the contract deadline so I am asking anyone with helpful information about this situation, What should I do next? What other options do I have and what rights do I have on this situation and Can anything else be done about this? I just want my job back but I want the title I was seeking to be successful and to have a position I can be proud of and to prove my self capable of getting the job done right just as a man would in the same position.

    • Anthony Ochs en mayo 27, 2019 en 11:55 pm

      Which state were you employed in at the time?

  10. VDC en enero 7, 2019 en 12:00 pm

    My employer pays holidays. However, my doctor placed me out of work (provided proof to employer of doctor note) a day before New Year’s Day. Am I entitled to get paid for the holiday? I was told by HR dept, because it was an unscheduled notice, I do not qualify for the new year holiday pay. Is this true?

  11. Janet en diciembre 17, 2018 en 5:13 pm

    I am an entrepreneur who is still figuring out lots of stuffs.
    My company will be closed from 24th-25th.
    Since the Christmas eve landed on Monday awkwardly I decided that everyone should enjoy their holiday little longer this year.
    I was planning on to pay my employees for their Christmas, but now I have a dilemma which I don’t know if I’m suppose to pay for their Christmas eve as well.
    I decided close the business, so would I be required to pay my employees for 24th?
    Your help will help me a lot! thanks in advance

  12. Lani en diciembre 8, 2018 en 6:26 am

    I am exempt employee per my agreement with the company i am entitled for holiday pays. I took a vacation on Thanksgiving week and company is holiday on Thursday and Friday. I didn’t go to work the next Monday but worked the entire work week. I asked my boss for my holiday pay but he refused to pay me because he said that i didn’t go to work after the holiday. Is this legal?

  13. William C. en diciembre 4, 2018 en 4:08 pm

    If my employer is providing paid Chriatmas holiday pay, but I am being told that I have to work on Christmas day, do they have to compensate with a day off since other employees were paid for not working?

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 4, 2018 en 4:16 pm

      Not necessarily. As a matter of fairness, they should. But as a matter of law, it depends on what their policy states. Remember, holiday pay is optional, not required, so the employer gets to set the ground rules for holiday pay. Of course, they shouldn’t be singling you for illegal reasons, like discrimination, harassment or retaliation. If they are, that then makes the employer’s decision regarding you potentially illegal.

  14. Steven en diciembre 4, 2018 en 12:02 pm

    I worked 13.5 hour thanksgiving day, but got 1.5 hours doubletime. My question is even working on a holiday, does doubletime kick in at the 8th hour, or still the 12th?

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 4, 2018 en 12:10 pm

      Unless your employer has a special holiday overtime policy, the normal overtime rules apply. In which case you are correct, double time kicks in at the 12th hour.

  15. Stacy Cummins en noviembre 20, 2018 en 11:26 pm

    If I work from 2pm to 10pm and then get a phone call asking me to work 2am to 6am (4 hours of rest) would that be considered overtime hours or regular?
    Its for a convenience store.

  16. Patty Wiegelman en noviembre 18, 2018 en 4:31 pm

    can an employer schedule you to work more then your regular 8 hour shift and make it mandatory without your consent? And what are the break periods for a 12 or 13 hour shift?

  17. Anonymous en noviembre 9, 2018 en 11:38 am

    My employer switched from payroll to 1099 without giving us any written notice. I only found out he had done that because of a new hire came to me, since I am the office manager, and brought that up to my attention. I brought this issue up to my boss, and he assured me he was going to catch me up with whatever taxes he owed me, and that we were going to be put back in payroll no later than November. After the new hire quit because of this situation (and other issues that go on at the workplace) I was told my boss couldn’t afford payroll taxes and that I was 1099. I told him that what he was doing was illegal and he could get in trouble, to what he responded “then I will close shop.”
    What are my remedies, because I still have to adhere to his office policies, keep a regular scheduled and work under his supervision and directions. Thank you!!!

  18. Melys en octubre 23, 2018 en 1:14 pm

    I was employed full-time at 32 hours per week with a letter that states I will be given 8 paid holidays annually. It has subsequently occurred to my employer that my regular day off (Friday) will fall on a company paid holiday. The company will not be paying me for that day, nor will they substitute the holiday on another day, so I am essentially being paid only 7 holidays during the year. That appears to be a violation of their agreement with me. I understand that they are free to re-write the terms of their employment in a new letter, but can they just not pay me for the holiday without doing so?

    • John F en octubre 25, 2018 en 10:26 pm

      I’m sure they have a policy on this on the employee manual. Basically, how they handle holiday pay if it falls on your regular day off.

  19. Henry Mitchell en agosto 17, 2018 en 10:55 am

    If I work from 10:00AM to 4:00PM do I have to clock out for a meal time?

    • Eugene Lee en agosto 17, 2018 en 12:40 pm

      Since you worked 6 hours, unless you signed a meal break waiver, you would be entitled to one unpaid 30-minute meal break. But if you choose to skip the lunch break and your employer is okay with that, then you can skip the meal break.

  20. K. Hill en agosto 9, 2018 en 2:55 pm

    1. I have one full time employee. I pay him a salary of $500 week. He works about 38 hours a week. I also give him a monthly bonus. The bonus is on a scale depending on productivity. The bonuses range between $2,500-$4,000 per month. I also give him paid days off, usually 2 per month. Do I need to pay additional tax or reporting for the paid days off?

    2. Am I in compliance with the salary I am giving him (exempt status)?

    3. Lastly, I will be gone for a total of 12 days. My employee wants to work everyday while I am gone. Do I need to pay him more for working 12 days in a row? I usually do pay him extra for working so many days in a row. I just want to make sure I am compliant with California Labor Laws.


    • Eugene Lee en agosto 10, 2018 en 11:43 pm

      Unfortunately, your questions require very complex analysis that is far beyond what I can do in this comment section. I strongly recommend you retain a employer-side lawyer. It will help you avoid very costly lawsuits down the road.

    • Yair Robles en septiembre 2, 2018 en 8:33 pm

      I’m interested, how can apply?

      • Faith en agosto 17, 2019 en 2:25 pm

        In a business that closes for both secular and religious holidays, and they ask part time employees to work on those holidays, is the company required to pay over time or double time under those circumstances? Note, part time employees get no holiday pay.

    • John F en octubre 25, 2018 en 10:38 pm

      1. Quick answer to your tax question, YES. As long as the days off become monetary you have to pay payroll tax. Don’t try to around paying payroll taxes. Not advisable.

      2. I didn’t really calculate the amount salary but I will assume you satisfy that. You should also look into the job responsibility of that employee if it falls under the exempt status distinction.

      3. The requirement is paying overtime anything pass 40 hours per work week. I believe there is no law on consecutive days. Obviously, 5 of those 12 days will fall into another work week. As long as you pay the required overtime pay then you should be fine. It is up to you to be generous to give the employee something for working 12 consecutive days but not a requirement base on the law.

      I am not a lawyer. These are based on my interpretation as an HR person.

  21. Kaz en julio 30, 2018 en 7:45 am

    I work for a company that offer me 128 hours of PTO time but you have to use This time for holiday pay when the facility is shut down. This also your vacation time and sick. I never experienced this before is this legal.

    • Eugene Lee en agosto 2, 2018 en 12:37 pm

      It is legal – as long as the PTO policy is established, and the company follows it consistently. Remember, an employer is not required to give employees paid vacation or PTO (although employees must receive at least 3 days of paid sick leave per year). However, if the employer offers it, then the employer must follow its own policies, and must not disfavor employees for retaliation/discrimination/harassment reasons.

  22. Jessica L. en julio 18, 2018 en 3:42 pm

    I have a question regarding an employee who went part-time on July 1st, her email signature even states starting July first she only works Mondays and Tuesdays. And she is leaving for good the 31st. She has been with the company for just over 2 years. I believe she gave her 2 weeks notice to go to part-time on June 20th. Here is her question:
    “My last day of full time employment was July 4 however I did not receive Holiday pay for that day. It just worked out that that was 2 weeks from my date of notice. I’m not sure if maybe your last day falls on a holiday then it’s not paid?”

    • Eugene Lee en agosto 2, 2018 en 12:40 pm

      Although California law does not require employers to give holiday pay, employer can choose to give it. If they do, they must consistently follow their own holiday pay policy (and not disfavor certain employees because of retaliation/discrimination/harassment). In your case, that is a question that can only be answered by consulting the employer’s vacation policy. Hopefully, the employer has a written policy that is clearly written and comprehensive enough to cover your situation.

  23. Tim Sullivan en junio 15, 2018 en 4:49 pm

    If I worked Memorial Day and my company pays time and a half, can they take back the time and a half if I have a sick day in that same pay period?

    • Eugene Lee en agosto 2, 2018 en 12:41 pm

      That completely depends on what your employer’s holiday policy says (assuming the employer has one). However, it sounds like your employer *may* be punishing you unfairly for taking a sick day, and is departing from its own holiday policy. If that is the case, you may have a case for paid sick leave retaliation. If you want to discuss it further, please give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  24. Adriana Garay en junio 13, 2018 en 8:28 pm

    As of today, the company I work for is making its employees take a day off during the week they work a holiday. For example, I work Sunday through Thursday. If I’m working the holiday on Wednesday July 4th, I will be forced to take an extra day off that week. Even though I normally work Wednesday’s. The company DOES pay holiday pay. But is it legal to FORCE employees to take an extra day off if they work the holiday? When it lands on there normal work day?

    • Eugene Lee en agosto 2, 2018 en 12:44 pm

      Yes, unless there’s a written policy, agreement, collective bargaining agreement, or email/text/offer letter that says otherwise. California is an at-will employment state. That means the employer is free to change the terms of employment or fire people at any time, and doesn’t need a reason to do it. In your case, the employer is exercising its right to set the work schedule during holidays. Of course, it would be illegal to do that if the employer were doing that only to you, and the reason for singling you out is retaliatory / discriminatory / harassing. If the latter is the case, you should consider filing a
      denuncia ante la junta laboral

  25. Beckie Wilbur en junio 6, 2018 en 8:34 pm

    I am due for two weeks vacation on Aug 13 and my employer says that I our company only pays one weeks until after 5 years. I asked for handbook and owner can not find it. What do I do? I have had to fight for sick days and to see thhow handbook. I have an email in which th owner states she will pay me 2 weeks vacation after 3 years.

    • Eugene Lee en agosto 2, 2018 en 12:46 pm

      I think you need to try to get a current copy of the handbook and see what it says. The email you mention could be critical and in your favor. However, most employers reserve to themselves the right to change policies at any time without notice to the employee. So you might need to carefully review the handbook once you are able to get a copy. If it appears your employer is failing to follow its own handbook or policies, you may have a claim for breach of contract against the employer.

  26. Jennifer SC en mayo 23, 2018 en 2:52 pm

    I gave two weeks notice and am salaried and my last day of work was to be Memorial Day. This was accepted by my manager via email and our HR coordinator scheduled my exit interview on the holiday until today and said my last day would be Friday and I would not be paid for Monday.

    What gives? I earned the day off?

    Thank you for your replies in advance btw

    • Eugene Lee en mayo 23, 2018 en 10:50 pm

      I think you quit but your employer then preempted that by discharging you. So ultimately, you were discharged. Since California is an at-will state, the employer has the right to do that – fire you at any time for any reason (so long as it isn’t an illegal reason like discrimination or retaliation).

      • Jennifer SC en mayo 24, 2018 en 9:10 am

        So you are saying that they fired me? Should I ask for a copy of my employment file?

        • John F en octubre 25, 2018 en 10:50 pm

          I am not a lawyer but I think you have a case of retaliation. If it is the policy of the company to pay holidays, they should have paid your for that Memorial Day irregardless if it was your last day. Eugene was right. You didn’t quit. They terminated you as of that Friday. As much as they are not required to give you a reason, you have an argument for retaliation. Seek an employment lawyer.

  27. Joshua en mayo 18, 2018 en 12:07 pm

    Can you get fired for texting about work on your day off and than in your conversation tell someone ill beat your ass. Even if you and the other employee resolved the issue on our own. And i mean i got fired a month after the text. And was told that because it was a threat at work i was let go. Again it was on my day off…

  28. Gene en mayo 12, 2018 en 10:28 pm

    I have a question . If your employer don’t pay for holidays to a techs in the field BUT the office gets paid holiday pay, paid time off (PTO) and vacation pay . Is this normal ? For office to get paid holidays but the techs out in the field are denied?

    • Eugene Lee en mayo 13, 2018 en 9:18 am

      I can’t answer if that normal for your particular industry. However, I can answer from a legal standpoint that California is an at will employment state, and that means the employer has discretion to set and change pay and other terms and conditions as they see fit – as long as it is not discriminatory (race, gender, national origin, skin color, sex orientation, etc.) or retaliatory.

  29. Christine en abril 24, 2018 en 3:30 pm

    I have been working 30/hrs/wk and considered a full time employee. My rehab company lost the contract of the facility I am currently working for. I have talked to my director about changing my status as per diem and wrote a letter requesting a change if status 3 days after the announcement to the staff. I was just informed of losing the contract but not the information about getting a severance pay. I told my director that since the company will be giving a severance package,I would be working till the closeout. I have requested information in writing about the guidelines of eligibility and the company finally spoke to us 2 weeks after the announcement of the closeout and after the meeting I’ve texted our regional manager that I will keep my full time status instead and work till the closeout.
    Now, the company is saying that they will accept my resignation letter and there won’t be any per diem status that is open. I didn’t resign in my letter but just a change of status request. And all of a sudden they want to terminate my employment saying that I’ve written my resignation so that I won’t get a severance package. Just days before the phone patch meeting, my director asked me to work part time instead of per diem hours which I replied will let her know my decision after the meeting.
    Is this grounds for discrimination?

    • Eugene Lee en abril 29, 2018 en 7:17 pm

      That is a pretty complicated fact pattern. I would recommend you consult a lawyer. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations that are confidential.

  30. Enrique arballo en abril 20, 2018 en 1:14 pm

    I have worked for my employer for 16 years on march 2017 i went on short term disability due to a workplace injury after 6 months i went onlong term disability i have being shorted on my check more times than not also my W2 form had the wrong amounts after asking them to fix it they sent me one for the wrong year now after tax deadline past i still have not received one what can i do

    • Eugene Lee en abril 20, 2018 en 3:22 pm

      If you’ve been shorted on your paychecks, that constitutes unpaid wages. You should consider filing a reclamo de la junta laboral. As for the incorrect W2s, you speak with a tax professional about that. You may need to contact the IRS as well.

  31. Me en abril 1, 2018 en 11:14 am

    I work for a well known non profit company. Ever since i made a complaint about my coworker sexually harrassing me it seems im being singled out and my work and schedule is being sabatoged. I close at night to come back to a disaster or my schedule will be the worst working 6 days a week with minimum overtime. I brought the harrassment up to my sup. And was moved and now treated very poorly.i feel like im being forced to quit but i really use to enjoy my job. How do i prove im being harrassed and treated unfairly.

    • Eugene Lee en abril 11, 2018 en 3:05 pm

      Make sure to do everything in writing. You should consider making a written complaint to your supervisor, or to HR. Take a look at your employee manual to see if there is a complaint procedure at your company, then try to follow it.

  32. Traci en marzo 16, 2018 en 10:20 am

    So.I work 10 12 hour days five days a week been there for over two years and they say im.not entitled to vacation pay I.wont to quit my job cause of this so fustrating I dont call in when needed and no paid time off feel like a slave to bk

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:14 pm

      Unfortunately, California labor laws do not require employers to give employees vacation pay. It’s up to each employer whether to offer vacation pay at all. Studies have shown that paid vacations actually improve worker productivity, so you might want to consider showing some of those studies to your boss!

  33. Arnaldo en febrero 3, 2018 en 11:05 am

    Can an employer require you to work 24/7? Also, does an employer need to provide a work schedule with days and hours and provide a day off?

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:16 pm

      Employers are required to give employees 1 day of rest in 7. However, the catch is, the employer gets to define what a workweek is, whether it’s Sunday to Saturday, or Monday to Sunday, etc. As long as you get at least 1 day off anywhere in an employer-defined workweek, that is legal. Of course, this means an employer could have you work 12 days in a row, as long as you get a day off on either side of the 12 days. Pretty harsh, but that was the ruling of the California Supreme Court.

  34. Arnaldo en febrero 3, 2018 en 11:02 am

    I am a salary employee that travels around in my own vehicle as required for job. I receive .26 a mile. I am being told that I need to pay for my own fuel and insurance. When I was hired I was told that the .26 a mile is for ware and tear of my car. My question is, is this legit and legal in California?

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:18 pm

      I think I can safely say, “NO!”

      You should be getting the federal mileage reimbursement rate. That changes each year. In 2018, it is 54.5 cents per mile. So your employer’s 26 cents per mile rate violates the law. You should consider filing a denuncia ante la junta laboral.

  35. Stacy en febrero 2, 2018 en 2:28 pm

    Hi, this is a follow up to my last comment.
    My employer never gives me a 10 minute break, I usually am scheduled for a 5 hour shift. When I had a conversation with her about breaks, my boss told me that no one has ever taken 10 minute breaks. My boss said that I can take one if I need it and stated that if I did choose to take a 10 minute break it would be a first. Furthermore my boss added that not everyone can be a “worker” like herself and she would never tell anyone to go take a 10 minute break as she could work 8 hours straight without a break.
    I told her it wasn’t about being a hard worker, but that she was breaking the law by not allowing 10 minute breaks.
    She said she is well aware of what the law is and that I am free to take a break if needed. She stated, “we’re all adults here and we take care of our needs”, such as getting a drink of water or using the restroom but if I took an official 10 minute break that in my absence it would “put pressure on the rest of the employees.”

    So even though I was told I am free to take a 10 minute break if I needed, I felt strongly discouraged to do so.

    The next day after working 5 1/2 hours straight at work, I was flat out denied a 10 minute break when I said I needed one. I was told it was too busy. Once we were closed and cleaning up, I was then told by the person in charge that I could either help clean up so we could get out faster or I could go take that 10 minute break.

    I know what is happening is wrong, I just don’t know how to handle it.
    How do I get my employer to pay me for the breaks I’m denied?

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:20 pm

      I think you’ve already tried persuasion and that hasn’t worked. So your next step is to file a denuncia ante la junta laboral. If your employer punishes you for filing the complaint, such as by demoting you, cutting your pay, cutting your hours, suspending you, or even firing you, then that would constitute illegal retaliation. You would then need to file a retaliation complaint with the labor board.

  36. Stacy en febrero 2, 2018 en 2:26 pm

    Hi. If I am scheduled to work a 5 hour shift and either
    1. My boss requires me to be at work 15 minutes early, I clock in for that prep time but my boss doesn’t ever give me a lunch break. Is that breaking the law?
    2. I am scheduled to work a 5 hour shift, I clock in at my scheduled time but I always work later than my scheduled 5 hours due to overflow of customers and/or cleaning up duties. I never get a lunch break. Is my employer breaking the law?

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:21 pm

      1. Yes, that’s breaking the law, if you work *over* 5 hours, e.g., 5 hours and 1 minute.
      2. See above. The answer is yes, since you work over 5 hours.

  37. Andy en enero 19, 2018 en 8:50 pm

    Can a company that does pay overtime for holidays not pay you the overtime when you worked because you were sick the day after and with a Doctors note?

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:23 pm

      That depends on what the paid holiday policy of your employer says. However, that sounds very much like paid sick leave retaliation. You should consider filing a denuncia ante la junta laboral for retaliation (and potentially unpaid holiday pay depending on whether the employer is violating its own policy).

  38. Jennifer rogers en enero 17, 2018 en 12:22 pm

    My employee policy is christmas is a paid holiday. I quit on 12/30 . And they are refusing to pay me for christmas. It is a company policy. Managers get paid.

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:24 pm

      Please consult your employer’s paid holiday policy and see what it says about your situation. The employer must follow its own policy, of course. If it isn’t, you would likely have a claim for unpaid holiday pay, in which case you should file a denuncia ante la junta laboral.

  39. Mc en enero 10, 2018 en 2:06 am

    I want to know if a company can stop your shift at midnight and then start a new shift for the following day? I worked 0500 until 0325 the next day but to avoid double time pay they cut the shift off at midnight. Paid me 3 hours 25 mins for next day????

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:25 pm

      Yes, the employer can absolutely do that. The employer has the right the set when each work day starts and ends. Of course, the employer has to be consistent about it. They can’t change the cutoff from midnight to noon and then back again.

  40. Phil Ruloph en enero 6, 2018 en 8:39 pm

    What is the guidelines or laws pertaining to driving a company vehicle. Which I take home every day. Example I leave my house at 6:15 every morning after 45 minutes of travel, I start getting paid. Whether my first job location is an hour and a half from my house. Should I get the consideration if my last job was two hours from my house. Or should I get paid all the way home?? Secondly correct me if I am wrong, but if I have an accident while in the company vehicle I am covered by their insurance, like I was still on the clock. Please clarify for me. Thanks

    • Eugene Lee en abril 18, 2018 en 9:27 pm

      1. I think your employer is deducting 45 minutes as typical commute time, which they are allowed to do, assuming 45 minutes is a reasonable estimate of what your typical commute time to your employer’s main office would be.

      2. If you get into an accident while performing work for your employer, then your employer is liable and must “indemnify” you for the costs you incur relating to the accident. That is called “respondeat superior”, also referred to as “vicarious liability”. If that’s not happening, you should consider filing a denuncia ante la junta laboral.

  41. Gary Baldees en diciembre 28, 2017 en 2:22 pm


    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 31, 2017 en 7:19 am

      No they don’t, unfortunately. As far as California labor laws are concerned, a holiday is just another workday, no different in any way — unless the employer has a vacation pay policy that says otherwise (or there’s a union agreement, etc).

  42. Robert Iglesia en diciembre 25, 2017 en 6:36 pm

    If an employer ask you to work on a Christmas holiday, shouldn’t that suppose to be double pay overtime?

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 26, 2017 en 9:57 am

      The law does not require it. Although good business practices probably favor giving holiday pay.

  43. Robyn Gorham en diciembre 20, 2017 en 12:02 am

    I got a week’s vacation last year in my company isn’t sure they are going to do vacation pay anymore..can they do that? And if they give it to one employer shouldn’t it be fair to give it to another?

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 21, 2017 en 1:51 pm

      California labor law does not require employers to give employees paid vacation. However if an employer chooses to give it, then the employer must comply with it’s own vacation policies and cannot be discriminatory or retaliatory when giving it. If you are singled out because of your race, gender, skin color, religion, etc, that would be illegal.

  44. Roberto en diciembre 15, 2017 en 11:14 pm

    My employer gives me a yearly evaluation of 86 cents but only gives me cost of living which is 25cents is this wrong?

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 26, 2017 en 7:57 pm

      As long as they are paying you over minimum wage (and assuming you aren’t being treated as an exempt employee), they aren’t breaking the law. The problem, of course, is that minimum wage has not been keeping up with inflation. So the true value of minimum wage has actually been decreasing since 1968, when it last peaked. Had minimum wage kept up with inflation, it would be at $21.72 per hour today. See

  45. Gould & Hahn en diciembre 13, 2017 en 2:04 pm

    This should be up to the company. Some people dont even celebrate holidays so again this shouldn’t be regulated by law. That is like regulating religion almost.

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 26, 2017 en 7:58 pm

      California’s legislature reached the same conclusion.

  46. T en diciembre 5, 2017 en 1:11 pm

    Can a employer pay you two different checks in a pay period to avoid over time hours?

  47. Jessica en diciembre 3, 2017 en 7:28 pm

    If my employer offers holiday pay to other employees can they deny me holiday pay? Also in the past I have received holiday pay can they stop giving it to me and continue to give it to other employees.

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 3, 2017 en 8:06 pm

      That is a simple question, but the analysis is actually pretty complicated. For one thing, holiday pay is not required by law, but is discretionary by the employer. You need to confirm what the employer’s holiday pay policy is. It’s not just what’s written in the employee manual, it’s also the employer’s “practice”, meaning what the employer has actually done over the years regarding holiday pay. The holiday pay policy and/or practice is regarded as a “contract” between the employee and the employer. The employer is required to comply with that holiday pay policy and/or practice.

      The second issue is, WHY are you not getting holiday pay? Are you being singled out and why? If you are being singled out because of a protected characteristic (like your gender, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, skin color, etc.), then the failure to give you holiday pay could be a form of discrimination and/or harassment. It could also be retaliation if you are being punished for taking a medical leave, blowing the whistle on illegal conduct, complaining of illegal conduct, etc.

      So a simple question, but the answer is actually very complicated as you can see.

  48. Cindy Schroeder en noviembre 21, 2017 en 1:01 pm

    Can an employer change your position and reduce your pay because they hired another person and flat out said they can’t afford to pay both of us? Also moved me from my desk to a counter for the other person to have my desk. Took one responsibility from me but added another. My main manager has been treating me like garbage ever since I started and I have no clue why. He makes me feel so incompetent when I have been working in this industry longer than him. He has only worked for one company…and that is because the owner and him have been friends for 30 years. He treats the new person wonderfully. He is training her whereas I got no training.I’ve been here over a year and I came from a competitor. I left that job of 7 years for this one.I have worked at allot of companies but this one is very odd.

    • Eugene Lee en diciembre 1, 2017 en 5:40 pm

      The employer can do all of those things and more and it’s normally legal. But the question you have to ask is: why is this being done to you? If you are in fact being singled out based on a “protected characteristic”, such as your race, gender, sex orientation, marital status, religion, skin color, national origin, etc. or in retaliation for a “protected act”, then all of the things you mentioned become discrimination, harassment and/or retaliatory. I suspect you need to do a little investigation. If you determine you are being illegally singled out, the next question becomes: do you have the witnesses or documents to prove it.

  49. Olivia Contreras cervantez en noviembre 21, 2017 en 11:23 am

    Im a hskpr for the Rodeway Inn hotel in Colton CA.
    Can my Emplyr threaten me everyday harass me ecrydy bcse they dnt want to pay overtime but sometimes it takes longer to finish cleaning the rooms so we go over the 8hrs a day but not everyday just like one or two days a week so they get mad Cse they have to pay us so they threaten us that there gonna take our days away is that possible or is it legal

  50. Cindy Dapice en noviembre 9, 2017 en 1:19 pm

    Can an employer change your vacation rollover date without notice? The staff rollover date has been October 1, so without any notice , it was changed to January 1 . Is this legal?

    • Eugene Lee en noviembre 9, 2017 en 1:22 pm

      Vacations are not legally required in California. However, employers are free to offer paid vacation if they want to. If they do, they must comply with their own vacation policies and promises. So the answer is: it depends on what is written in your employer’s vacation policy or what your employer’s policy otherwise was. Note, most employers usually include language that they reserve the right to change a policy at any time without notice to employees. You’ll want to look for that language as well.

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