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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Important Information Regarding Holiday Pay

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
PRACTICE GROUP


HOLIDAY PAY – IS IT A RIGHT OR A PRIVILEGE?

   Employees and employers alike often share the same misunderstanding that everyone is entitled by law to receive time off for nationally recognized holidays. However, the reality may surprise you: there is no federal law requiring private employers to provide time off (paid or unpaid) to employees for nationally recognized holidays or on any other days. Additionally, no federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt* employees (whether hourly or salaried) for holidays on which they are not required to work.


   If an employee is required to work on a holiday, there is nothing in federal or state law mandating employers to pay extra for working on that holiday. Hours worked on holidays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week except when a non-exempt employee works overtime hours on that holiday. In the event a non-exempt employee will be working overtime hours on a holiday, then that employee is entitled to overtime pay for the overtime hours under standard overtime laws. 


   On the other hand, exempt** employees (qualifying salaried employees who do not receive overtime) who are given the holiday off must be paid their full weekly salary if they work any hours during the week in which the holiday falls. Employers cannot take deductions from exempt employees for absences that are effected by the employer or resulting from operating requirements of the employer’s business. If an employer’s policy is to provide unpaid holidays to its employees, docking an exempt employee for the holiday will endanger their exempt status for that week.


   Generally speaking under federal law, paid time off, holidays, vacation and sick leave are matters of agreement between an employer and employee. However, if an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or contract. An employer should take care to look at any state or local laws that may prevent employees from working on holidays. Florida, like federal law, does not require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave. The laws of other states may vary and employers should consult with counsel before implementing holiday or other leave policies.


*Employees who are entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

**Employees who fall under a specific exemption from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. See 29 U.S.C. § 213.

 
Sources:

1.U.S. Dept. of Labor, Overtime Pay: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/overtimepay.htm;
2.Wage & Hour Insights, “Are Employers Required to Provide Holidays or Holiday Premium Pay?” by Doug Hass: http://www.wagehourinsights.com/wage-and-hour-faqs/are-employers-required-to-provide-holidays-or-holiday-premium-pay-wage-hour-faq/; and http://www.wagehourinsights.com/wage-and-hour-faqs/does-an-exempt-employee-who-calls-in-sick-the-day-before-thanksgiving-get-holiday-pay-wage-hour-faq/
3.The Practical Employer, “A Reminder About Holiday Pay” by Jon Hyman:  http://www.workforce.com/blogs/3-the-practical-employer/post/a-reminder-about-holiday-pay






The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Additionally, the information above is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an experienced lawyer if you have a specific issue or dispute.

 

Offices: 2400 E. Commercial Blvd, Ste. 400, Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33308 | 2901 Q. Street NW Suite 2, Washington, D.C. 20007


Important Information Regarding Overtime Changes


LABOR & EMPLOYMENT 
PRACTICE GROUP

OVERTIME ALERT! PROPOSED OVERTIME EXPANSION RULE COULD AFFECT MILLIONS
   The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a proposed change to the overtime rules that would extend overtime protections to almost 5 million workers in its first year. This would increase the percentage of the nation’s salaried workforce eligible for overtime from 8 percent to 40 percent. Currently, the salary threshold for the white-collar overtime exemption is $23,660 annually ($455 per week). Under the proposed rule, the salary threshold would increase to $50,440 annually ($970 per week). The DOL intends to increase the amount annually to keep up with inflation but business leaders and HR professionals are concerned about employers’ ability to absorb such a drastic change in such a short amount of time and the impact it will have on already complicated compensation regulations. Specifically, it is believed this change will disproportionately affect non-profits, the service sector, and certain geographic areas of the country.

   For highly compensated employees who are currently exempt from overtime at a $100,000 threshold, the proposed rule intends to increase that threshold to $122,148 and it is anticipated that number may increase even more before the final rule is issued. However, the proposed rule fails to address any changes to the FLSA job duties test which provides that for the salary exemption to apply, the employee must also have certain primary job duties to reach exempt status. The DOL is still considering whether revisions to the duties test are necessary in order to ensure that it fully reflects the purpose of the exemption.
   What could this mean for employers? If the proposed rule becomes law, exempt salaried employees may no longer be exempt from overtime if their salaries do not meet these higher thresholds. Employers may need to revisit and review their overtime policies and compensation schedules.
   Have concerns? Add your comments: The proposed rule was published on July 6, 2015 in the Federal Register (80 FR 38515) and interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov on or before September 4, 2015. Only comments received during the comment period identified in the Federal Register published version of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be considered part of the rulemaking record.
SLG will continue to provide updates regarding the proposed rule as they become available.
Sources:
1. SHRM, “DOL Announces Long-Awaited Overtime Expansion Proposal,” http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/federalresources/pages/dol-announces-ot-changes.aspx;
2. U.S. Dept. of Labor, “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Overtime,” http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/NPRM2015/









The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Additionally, the information above is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an experienced lawyer if you have a specific issue or dispute.


Offices: 2400 E. Commercial Blvd, Ste. 400, Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33308 | 2901 Q. Street NW Suite 2, Washington, D.C. 20007