California observes the official federal holidays which are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day as well as days celebrating birthdays or notable people including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays, and Cesar Chavez Day.
As in many states, California employers are not required to pay their workers holiday pay when they close for business on official holidays. If an employee works on a holiday, they are paid their usual rate of pay unless it is the employer’s policy to pay extra rates such as time-and-a-half. California law does not require the employer to pay any additional pay if an employee works on the day of a holiday unless it is part of their common practice or if the employee has worked in excess of a 40 hour, 8 hour per day work week. Saturdays and Sunday are also paid at the same rate as hours worked during a weekday. In addition, California law does not require its employers to close for business on any holiday or to give their employees the day off for a particular holiday.
Holiday or weekend pay is given to workers at the discretion of the employers according to company policy, the practices adopted by the employer, or the terms agreed upon between the employer and the employee.
The Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE) enforce Labor Code statutes, investigate public work complaints and discrimination, and enforces Labor Code statutes among its many duties. At the same time, The Division of Labor Statistics and Research (DLSR) and is dedicated to collecting, compiling and presenting accurate statistics and research regarding the current condition of labor in the state of California. Combined, these two agencies are dedicated to achieving the highest quality of service possible for the people of California.
In the state of California, hours worked on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week. California laws do not require an employer to give its employees paid holidays, or require that an employer close its business on a holiday, or that employees be given the day off for a particular holiday.
California state laws do not mandate that employers must close their business on any particular day, or at all. It is up to the employer to select which days, if any, it chooses to be open and closed for business.
If an employer chooses to close its business on a holiday and gives its employees time off from work with pay, it is completely up to the discretion of the employer, or the result of terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or due to the terms of an employment agreement between the employer and employee.
California employers are also not required to pay their employees any special premium for work performed on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, other than the overtime premium if it applies (the premium that’s required for work performed in excess of eight hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek), unless the employer has a policy or practice of paying a premium rate for working on a holiday, or the employee is subject to a collective bargaining or employment agreement that addresses holiday premium pay.
Although some California employers choose to pay their employees on holidays when they did not work (the employers was closed), it is completely up to the employers whether or not to do so.
In the case of the employer who does pay for a holiday not worked, any overtime due is based upon hours worked, more than eight in a workday or more than 40 in a workweek, and not upon pay received.
The full details of all laws on holiday pay are available on the California Complete Labor Law poster.