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Obagi Law Group, P.C. Motto
  • Experienced Los Angeles Lawyers

Everything You Need to Know About California Employment Laws Regarding Holiday Paid Time Off and Reasonable Accommodations


As the holiday season approaches, it is a good idea to remind employers and employees of their rights and obligations during this time of year. Are California employers required to accommodate employees’ requests for time off for holidays? Are employees entitled to paid time off for holidays? Are employers required to pay their employees “extra” for working on holidays?

You will find the answers to these questions below. But if don’t find the answer to your question about holiday pay in this post, schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles employment lawyers at Obagi Law Group, P.C.

Are Employers Required to Provide Time Off for Holidays in California?

No. Unless giving employees days off is for religious holidays, California employment law does not require employers to provide employees time off for holidays. In fact, the website of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) states that hours worked on holidays “are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week.” The same can be said about hours worked on Saturdays and Sundays.

California employment law does not require employers to:

  • Provide employees with a paid holiday
  • Close their business on holidays
  • Give employees days off for any particular holiday

Which Days does California Labor Law Classify as a Holiday?

It should be noted that Christmas is not considered a religious holiday under California labor law. Here are the days the law does consider holidays:

  • Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day)
  • Third Monday in January (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • Third Monday in February (President’s Day)
  • March 31 (Cesar Chavez Day)
  • Last Monday in May (Memorial Day)
  • July 4 (Independence Day)
  • First Monday in September (Labor Day)
  • Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day)
  • Fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 25 (Christmas)

Are Employers Required to Pay Employees ‘Extra Pay’ for Working on Holidays?

No. California employment law does not require employers to provide additional wages or extra pay for work performed on holidays. The decision to pay “extra” for working on a holiday is voluntary and at the discretion of the employer.

Whether or not an employee should expect extra pay for working on holidays depends on the terms of the holiday-pay policy set forth by the employer. That being said, legislators have attempted to pass legislation that would require employers to pay employees extra pay for working on holidays.

For example, in 2016, the Double Pay on the Holiday Act proposed to require employers to pay double time for any work performed on Thanksgiving. The proposed bill applied to workers in retail and grocery store businesses. However, neither the Double Pay on Holiday Act nor any of the other proposed bills that would require employers to pay extra pay for working on holidays have become law.

Are Employers Required to Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Employers on Holidays?

Yes. California’s employment law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who cannot perform work on certain holidays due to religious reasons. However, what constitutes “reasonable” accommodation depends on each unique case, such as the employer’s type of business and the requested accommodation. If you have any questions about your particular case, you can schedule a consultation with Obagi Law Group, P.C.

Can an Employee Accrue Holiday Paid Time Off When Getting Paid for Time Off During Holidays?

No. If an employee does not perform work on holidays but gets paid time off, they are typically not allowed to accrue holiday paid time off. In fact, according to the DIR, California employment law does not require employers to provide either paid or unpaid vacation time. Typically, an employer’s holiday-pay policy will address how and when employees can receive holiday pay and whether they can accrue holiday paid time off.

Schedule a consultation with our employment lawyers at Obagi Law Group, P.C. Call 424-284-2401 for a case evaluation.

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