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Nebraska Holiday Pay

Posted by Tamara

Most companies in the nation recognize 5 to 7 days as paid days for their employees.  There is no federal or state law that requires an employee to give a paid holiday from work.  Also, there is no law, federal or state, that requires an employer to pay workers a higher rate for working on a holiday, at night or on the weekends.

However, under federal law through guidelines of the Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor, an employee is entitled to overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 hours.  Since a worker does not actually work on the paid holiday this would not entitle him or her to overtime pay for that day.

Traditionally, Human Resource departments define holiday pay as pay a worker receives when he or she is off work for the holiday. The holiday pay is at the worker’s usual rate not at overtime.  Some companies, as an incentive, pay workers a higher rate such as time-and-a-half for working on the holiday and some union contracts require the premium rate but no law mandates the employer must do so.

As an example, Bill works a 40 hour week job with 8-hour days.  Bill’s employer asks him if can work Thanksgiving Day, which is usually a paid holiday.  If Bill took the shift he would be paid for his 40 hour week plus 8 hours of regular time for the paid holiday — but he would not receive overtime. 

If Bill’s boss was generous and told him that he will get time-and-a-half for working the holiday then he would get 32 hours of regular pay, 8 hours of pay at 1.5 his regular rate, and 8 hours at the regular rate for his paid holiday. What if Bill missed a day during the week that was unpaid but he still works the holiday? If his boss pays him the premium rate for the holiday he would have 24 hours of regular pay, 8 hours at 1.5 times his usual rate (for working on the holiday) and 8 hours at the regular rate, for holiday pay.




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