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Do Part Time Workers Get Holiday Pay in 2024?

Whether part-time workers receive holiday pay depends on the employer’s policies and the laws of the jurisdiction. In many places, employers are not required to provide holiday pay to part-time employees. However, some employers may choose to offer holiday pay as a benefit to part-time workers, either by paying them their regular rate for the holiday or by providing additional pay.
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What is Holiday Pay?

According to BambooHR, holiday pay refers to any non-standard compensation provided by an employer to employees during holidays [1]. This compensation could include fully or partially paid time off, a bonus, or extra hourly pay for working on a holiday. In the United States, holiday pay often involves paying employees at a rate of "time-and-a-half," which is 150 percent of their regular hourly wage, for hours worked on holidays.

Also Read: Do Part Time Employees Get Vacation Time?

Holiday Pay for Part-Time Employees in the U.S.

According to Deel, in the United States, federal labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specify that payment for time not worked, such as vacation days and federal holidays like Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Veteran's Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is not required [2].

Regarding holiday pay, the federal government generally considers it a matter to be agreed upon between employers and employees. For instance, an employer may choose to offer part-time employees a higher pay rate, such as time and a half or double time, for working on a national holiday like Labor Day. As long as the employer's policy is clearly outlined and consistently followed, any approach to paid holiday time is legally acceptable.

However, there are exceptions to these rules, such as when an employee falls under the protection of the McNamara O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) or the Davis-Bacon and Related Act, entitling them to holiday pay. Additionally, if the employee is non-exempt and the holiday hours qualify as overtime pay, they may be entitled to holiday pay. Non-exempt employees typically earn less than $684 a week or $35,568 annually, though these thresholds can vary by state. Collective bargaining agreements can also affect holiday pay entitlements.

It's important to note that state laws may differ from federal laws. For example, Rhode Island and Massachusetts require full-time employees to receive holiday pay, but these regulations may not extend to part-time workers.

The good news is that employee benefits for part-time workers are trending upward in the US. Vacation pay, worker’s compensation, retirement plans, disability insurance, sick leave, parental leave, and health insurance are becoming standard perks, particularly among large employers - Agency Stated.

How is Holiday Pay Calculated?

According to an Intuit publication from 2024, one of the typical formulas for calculating holiday pay is to use a multiplier of 1.5 or 2.0 times the employee's regular pay rate [3]. For instance, if an employee earns $15 per hour and the holiday pay rate is 1.5 times, their holiday pay rate would be $22.50 per hour. Alternatively, with a holiday pay rate of 2.0 times, the hourly holiday pay for the same employee would be $30 per hour.

Designation of Holidays

According to this notice by the Office of Personnel Management, holidays for Federal Employees are [4]:

  • New Year's Day (January 1).
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Third Monday in January).
  • Washington's Birthday (Third Monday in February).
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May).
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 19).
  • Independence Day (July 4).
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September).
  • Columbus Day (Second Monday in October).
  • Veterans Day (November 11).
  • Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November).
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Eligibility for Holiday Pay

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, to qualify for paid holiday leave or holiday premium pay, an employee must have a regular, pre-scheduled work schedule [5].

Employees with irregular or intermittent schedules, such as part-time workers without set hours, are not eligible for paid holidays or holiday premium pay. If these employees work on a holiday, they are only entitled to their regular pay rate for up to 8 hours and their overtime rate for any hours beyond 8.

When a part-time employee, with a regular schedule, works scheduled and unscheduled non-overtime hours on a holiday, they are entitled to holiday premium pay for all scheduled hours up to 8, and to their basic rate for all additional unscheduled hours which are not overtime hours.

Full-time employees on compressed schedules are entitled to holiday pay for all scheduled non-overtime hours of the holiday.

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