As the holiday season approaches, many employees find themselves working extra hours to meet year-end deadlines or accommodate increased consumer activity. This is especially true in the retail and hospitality industries.
Various industries experience a significant increase in demand during the holiday season. For example, retailers see an uptick in customer traffic due to holiday shopping, and restaurants or hotels may encounter increased bookings for holiday events or as a consequence of holiday travel. These consumer demands often result in extended hours of operation, requiring employees to work longer hours to meet customer needs and fulfill orders.
While the reasons for working longer hours during the holidays can vary and may even be unexpected by the employer, employees must be paid for the work performed.
The prospect of holiday overtime brings into play the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs various aspects of employment, including overtime pay.
The law does not require a special pay rate merely for working during or on holidays. Whether an employer chooses to offer additional pay for holiday work beyond what is required by the law is at the company’s discretion. Some employers may provide extra compensation or bonuses for working on holidays as an incentive or recognition of the inconvenience to employees.
Though there is no special premium rate for ordinary work during the holidays, the law governing overtime pay does not take vacation during the holiday season. Fifty-two weeks a year, non-exempt employees are entitled to receive overtime pay—typically set at one and a half times an employee’s regular hourly rate—for hours worked beyond the standard 40 hours per workweek.
A non-exempt employee is an individual covered by the wage and hour provisions of the FLSA. They are entitled to certain protections under the law, including those requiring a minimum wage and overtime pay. Exempt employees are typically salaried workers who meet specific criteria related to job duties and salary level, exempting them from overtime pay under the FLSA.
Non-exempt employees should be proactive in understanding their rights under the FLSA and advocating for fair and appropriate compensation. If an employer is violating overtime pay regulations, employees have the right to take legal action. If you are not receiving overtime pay for overtime hours worked, our attorneys are available for consultation.
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy for overtime pay to be overlooked or slip through the cracks. Employees should be mindful of the hours they work as their days get longer while meeting the demands of consumers during extended work hours. Employees should be careful when reviewing their pay stubs to ensure they are being paid in full for ALL hours worked; this includes pay at their premium overtime rate for hours worked over 40 in any given workweek. Don’t let your employer take advantage of the distractions caused by the busy holiday season.
As the holiday season unfolds and workplaces hum with heightened activity, it is essential for employees to understand the connection between holiday overtime pay and the FLSA. By staying informed about their rights and keeping a close eye on their hours worked and the compensation received, workers can enjoy the holiday season, knowing that they are being fully compensated for all the work they are performing to ensure their customers’ needs are being met.