While Alabama workers are given several holidays off, employers are not required by law to pay holiday pay if the employer chooses to close on a holiday. Holiday pay is solely at the discretion of the employer, though many employers compensate their workers for some of the major holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
If the employee works on a day deemed a holiday, the employer is only required to pay the employee a regular wage, and an extra amount is not required in consideration of the holiday such as holiday pay or time-and-a-half such as in some other states. There are also considerations made for the day on which the holiday falls so that employees will still have the day off if the holiday falls on a weekend. For instance, if the holiday falls on a Sunday, the employee will get the following Monday off. Likewise, the previous Friday in lieu of the Saturday holiday day will be considered the day off observed as the holiday.
Alabama counts several days as holidays for the purpose of wages including New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July, Confederate Memorial Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Fraternal Day, Veterans’ Day, American Indian Heritage Day, and the day designated by the Governor for public thanksgiving, as well as several American presidents’ and notable citizens’ birthdays such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert E. Lee, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Jefferson Davis. In addition, Mobile and Baldwin Counties celebrate Mardi gras as a holiday and all state offices are closed in observance.
The State of Alabama Department of Labor, established in 1943, publishes several reports on subjects such as job related illness and injuries through its federal surveys, promotes the peaceful settlement of labor disputes and provides mediation services. The State of Alabama Department of Labor of works closely with federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Labor.
Just thought I would hop on here and let you know what I recently learned about maternity law in Alabama. After looking at the Alabama Department of Labor’s web site, here’s what I was able to find out.
Basically, there are no laws in Alabama guaranteeing job protection or benefits for new parents. Pregnant women and new parents are, however, protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and also by the Family Medical Leave Act.
Both of these laws are federal laws. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for employers to fire, refuse to hire, or deny a woman a promotion because she’s pregnant. Basically, she must be treated just like anyone else in the company! This goes for sick leave and disability too. If a company offers these things to other employees, then it also must offer them for pregnancy-related issues.
The Family Medical Leave Act allows private or public sector employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to, among other things, take care of a newborn baby or newly adopted child. One thing though—if you plan to take advantage of this act you have to work for an employer with more than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius.
But you should know that taking some time off after your pregnancy under this act doesn’t guarantee that your job will be held. A provision under the FMLA states that it is completely legal for key employees to be terminated during leave. You are considered a key employee if you are in the top 10 percent of highest paid employees. This provision was designed to ease economic hardships for companies who were missing key employees.
However, when you go on your leave your employer has to let you know that you are considered a key employee. And if they decide not to hold your job they must also notify you and give you the option of returning to work before your leave is up. So you do have options.
Employers working out of Alabama are not required to pay their employees for any holidays. If employers wish to be closed on a holiday it is completely up to their discretion if they wish to compensate the employees. If an employer deems it appropriate to stay open on a holiday they also are in no way required to pay any sort of special rate unless by working the employee has entered into an overtime situation.
Alabama state workers, however, are given many holidays off, including Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Robert E. Lee’s birthday, George Washington’s birthday, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, Confederate Memorial Day, National Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis’ birthday, the Fourth day of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Fraternal Day, Veterans’ Day, American Indian Heritage Day, and the day designated by the Governor for public thanksgiving.
In those instances, if the holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday immediately following is considered the holiday. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday immediately preceding is considered the holiday. In addition to the legal holidays above, Mardi gras is a recognized holiday in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and all state offices are closed that day as well. If employees must work on a day deemed a holiday, they are compensated leave or paid compensation in lieu of the holiday.
In regards to paydays and holidays, for Alabama state employees who receive semi-monthly paydays (normally the 1st and 16th of each month) if the payday falls on a weekend or a holiday, the payday will be moved back to the last day preceding the weekend or holiday, with the exception of an October 1 payday (if the October 1st payday is on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, payment will be made on the next succeeding workday).
While employers are not required to match the benefits Alabama state workers receive, some do mirror at least a few of the holidays, particularly Christmas and Thanksgiving, as well as structured paydays in some semi-monthly fashion, all of which is completely up to the employer.
All of the detailed laws regarding holiday pay and all federal and state laws can be found on the Alabama Complete Labor Law poster.