Holidays and Time Off
August 29, 2006 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Is my employer required to give us federal holidays off? We have salaried and hourly workers. Also, is there any place on the web that I can point co-workers to that addresses this?
posted by finitejest to Work & Money (14 answers total)
Who's your employer?
posted by empyrean at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2006

As a side note (not sure if it matters or not) we're in tennessee
posted by finitejest at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2006

I work for a small local business.
posted by finitejest at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2006

Pretty sure federal holidays only apply to federal employees and that there are no labor laws requiring private employers to honor federal holidays.

It's just commonplace to do so.
posted by empyrean at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2006

Movie theaters are open on Christmas. That's all the proof you need that it happens in other places.

I know someone who has to work on federal holidays like Veteran's Day, MLK's birthday, etc., so that she instead gets off the entire week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Massachusett's employees have off for Patriot's Day, as an example going the other way.

The point is, employers can set up whatever holidays they wish.
posted by sdrawkcab at 8:37 AM on August 29, 2006

Employers are not required to give federal holidays off in the U.S. They're not required to pay you anything extra if they require you to work those holidays, either.

Haven't you noticed that grocery stores are open on Christmas? Restaurants? Movie theaters, as mentioned above? Have you noticed that radio and TV stations continue to broadcast? Your newspaper comes out the next day, with the news of Christmas on its pages? Firefighters continue to fight fires? Police continue to go on calls? If there's a snow storm and the power goes out, someone turns the light back on? Ditto for Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2006

I'm the head of HR for a company with offices in 35 states. You're not going to like my answer, but here it is:

No, they're not required to give you ANY days off, as long as they pay you at least minimum wage for hours worked, and pay you applicable overtime.
posted by pomegranate at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2006

...and pay you applicable overtime.

Unless you're exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2006

My wife is a 911 dispatcher for a local municipality. There are no such things as holidays where she works. July 4th is no different from January 4th. And if she does happen to work a "holiday," she gets no compensatory days off later.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:16 AM on August 29, 2006

they are not required to ... i have worked christmas and other holidays at an all night convenience store, at a motel and as a security guard ... even my current employer, if they got desperate for production, could make us work holidays, even though they're in our contract ... (they'd pay a LOT of money to do it though)

don't bother making an issue out of it, you just won't win
posted by pyramid termite at 9:18 AM on August 29, 2006

The answer is no, but good luck keeping employees around on those days if they're not paid at a premium for those hours. Otherwise, it's too easy to call in sick on, say, Christmas or New Years. (I work in publishing, and have had to work on Christmas and New Years days).
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 AM on August 29, 2006

Nope, but neither do you have to work for them.

No. The State of Tennessee does not have a law that regulates fringe benefits. Company policy would be the determining factor. These and similar matters are also determined by an agreement between the employees and the employer, or their authorized representatives. Title 50-2-103 (3)
posted by phearlez at 9:32 AM on August 29, 2006

if all of the employees decide they want something, form a union and work together to get it.

any small business would be out of luck if all of their employees went on strike.
posted by hatsix at 10:26 AM on August 29, 2006

I'm a city worker. I wish I could get all of the federal holidays off. My brother, a postal worker gets all sorts of crazy holidays off. I don't get Washington's B-day, Columbus Day, or Veteran's Day. The only way that your company might give the days off to you is if 100% of your business was directly with the federal government.
posted by JJ86 at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2006

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