Can I pay my employees their standard rate for working on a holiday?

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By Penny Morey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I have one full-time employee and one part-time employee who are both non-exempt. Can I just offer the full-timer a different day off?
Let's start with the full-time employee. You only need to pay at his standard hourly rate on a holiday, unless working on that holiday will constitute him working more than 40 hours in that workweek.

If that is the case, you must pay him time and one-half for hours worked over 40 in that workweek. In some states, it is over 8 hours in a day -- but you're asking about a holiday, so this is my response to that particular question.

You can give a different day as the full-time employee's paid "holiday", if you choose to do that.

As it is highly doubtful that the part-time employee would be working in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, the answer is simply that you do not need to pay her at any rate other than her regular hourly rate.

The exception to what I have stated above is if your employee manual promises something different than the law requires. For example, if it states that employees required to work on a company holiday are paid at a premium rate for those hours. In that case, the stated company practice should be followed.

The key to this kind of circumstance is clear communication. Advance notice of requiring someone to work on a holiday is good practice. Often, just making sure that people understand the situation ahead of time can forestall negative situations from arising.
Penny Morey

Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.

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