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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    12

    Default Can an Employer Have Different Holiday Pay Rules for Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California

    We have some salaried non-exempt employees, and some salaried exempt employees. If we take the week of Christmas as an example here, with Christmas falling on a Tuesday:

    Can we legally tell the salaried non-exempt employees that they will be paid for the holiday 8 hours, plus additionally any actual hours they work on that day, but tell the salaried exempt employees that they'll only get the 8 hours of holiday pay, regardless of whether they work or not? Aren't both classes salaried and therefore must be treated the same? If the firm decides that it wants to pay the salaried non exempt employees for the actual time, doesn't the same apply to the salaried exempt employees? Do their actual job titles play any role in this?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,434

    Default Re: Holiday Pay

    Unless one of the following circumstances applies, an employer has no obligation to pay anything extra for a salaried employee who works on a "holiday": (1) the employer is a public entity and a civil service regulation requires extra pay; (2) the employer has a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union and the CBA requires extra pay; or (3) the employer and employee are parties to an employment contract that requires extra pay.

    Were you under the impression that some law requires extra pay for working on a "holiday"?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Holiday Pay

    Thanks for the response.

    No, I'm aware that there is no legal obligation to pay more. However management would like to pay the actual hours worked on a holiday in addition to the 8 holiday hours to the salaried, non exempt employees, but not salaried exempt employees. Management also understands they are not obligated to, but they choose to as an added perk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,440

    Default Re: Holiday Pay

    Salaried is only a pay method and has no legal significance of its own. What matters is exempt and non-exempt. You can legally pay exempt and non-exempt employees differently EVEN IF they are both paid on salary.

    So yes, you may legally pay the non-exempt employees extra if they work on the holiday, and not do the same for exempt employees. There is nothing illegal in what your management proposes to do. Short of a legally binding and enforceable contract that expressly says otherwise, exempt employees have no legal expectations of being paid a single penny over their salary no matter how many hours they work, whereas non-exempt employee must be paid for all the time they work, plus overtime if they work over 40 hours in a week, EVEN IF THEY ARE PAID ON SALARY.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,434

    Default Re: Holiday Pay

    Quote Quoting joeblow
    View Post
    No, I'm aware that there is no legal obligation to pay more. However management would like to pay the actual hours worked on a holiday in addition to the 8 holiday hours to the salaried, non exempt employees, but not salaried exempt employees. Management also understands they are not obligated to, but they choose to as an added perk.
    So...I guess your actual question is whether it's legal for an employer to give non-exempt employees a bonus that exempt employees don't get. The answer is yes (unless the exempt/non-exempt distinction is merely a pretext for some sort of illegal discrimination).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,262

    Default Re: Holiday Pay

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    So...I guess your actual question is whether it's legal for an employer to give non-exempt employees a bonus that exempt employees don't get. The answer is yes (unless the exempt/non-exempt distinction is merely a pretext for some sort of illegal discrimination).
    I think that cbg's answer was a little more on point.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Holiday Pay

    OK folks, thank you for the information, I appreciate the help.

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