Federal Laws About the Work Week
Unless exempt, employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. FLSA specifies no limit on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek.
The act also does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days. FLSA applies on a workweek basis.
Related Article: When is an Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?
How Many Federal Work Days are There in a Year?
As a rule, a normal year consists of 52 weeks and 260 work days. A leap year may contain an extra work day, equaling 261 work days. While counting working days, it's also important to remember that there are a number of federal holidays that can be paid days off.
List of Federal Holidays
- New Year’s Day January 1
- Martin Luther King’s Birthday 3rd Monday in January
- Washington’s Birthday 3rd Monday in February
- Memorial Day last Monday in May
- Juneteenth National Independence Day June 19
- Independence Day July 4
- Labor Day 1st Monday in September
- Columbus Day 2nd Monday in October
- Veterans’ Day November 11
- Thanksgiving Day 4th Thursday in November
- Christmas Day December 25
Can an Employee be Forced to Work on a Federal Holiday?
If you work for a private company, then yes. There is no law that requires private sector employers to provide their workers time off on federal holidays.
Federal employees who are normally scheduled to work on a designated holiday are entitled to paid time off, or "PTO". “Essential” employees who are required to work on federal holidays will receive overtime or double-time pay from their employers.
Related Article: Can I Be Forced to Work on a Federal Holiday?
What's the Difference Between a National Holiday and a Federal Holiday?
On federal holidays, all "non-essential" federal offices and many financial institutions in the United States are closed for business. Although often observed nationwide, these are not technically considered “national holidays.”
Each state decides whether to legally observe a federal holiday. In fact, even though many states recognize most or all federal holidays, the federal government cannot legally require them to do so. Likewise, states can observe local and city holidays that are not recognized federally.
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