Holiday Pay Law Requirements in the State of California (CA)

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.

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158 Thoughts on “Holiday Pay Law Requirements in the State of California (CA)”

pissed girlfriend

December 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

my boyfriend has been working for a company the past 9 years and has always had January 1st off as an observed federal holiday. Now this year they are saying he has to work, but didnt tell him til 2 days before January first (yes, they told him this morning). Is this even right?


February 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm

I work in CA but our contract is with texas they just informed us that we will have to follow texas holiday schedule which only includes 6 holidays. Here in our office we have 3 more holidays which are Martin Luther King, president day and veterans day is that legal that we have to follow texas holiday schedule please advise?

May 26, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Now if employer don’t have to pay extra for working holidays do employees have to work those days when office is off and if employee what that day off can he be fired or do is have that right to be off

June 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm

I work Tuesdays – Fridays with some Mondays where there is a need. I work my 32 + hours per week. My question is do I get paid for Memorial Day since is on a Monday and my company observes & pays its employees. They paid me last year but not this year.



June 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

If company is going to give me Friday off as a Holiday for the 4th of July and I requested Monday as a personal day. Do that mean that I loose pay for Friday?

Shanna Fleming

June 24, 2015 at 10:55 am

If a holiday falls on my normal day off, do I get an alternate day in lieu of the holiday?


June 30, 2015 at 5:43 am

If the company that I work for pays me double time on Holidays and I have worked 80 hrs. for that pay period, should my check be:
80 hrs. Regular
8hrs. Double

Or should my check be:
72 hrs. Regular
8 hrs. Double


July 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm

4th of July is going to be Saturday and my boss said he don’t have to pay the holiday because we don’t work on Saturday. Is that right.

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