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Georgia Holiday Pay

Posted by Tamara

The majority of companies provide employees with 5 to 7 paid holidays per year. Employers are not legally obligated, however, to provide workers with these holidays. No federal or Georgia law exists to mandate paid holidays for employees.

Many Georgia workers assume that if they work on a holiday, they are entitled to additional pay or “holiday pay”. This simply isn’t true. There is no federal or Georgia law mandating extra pay for holidays, or even for weekends or nights. The number of paid holidays, and any premium pay for working holidays is completely up to the individual employer. These policies are generally detailed in the employee handbook.

The term “holiday pay” actually refers to the money an employee receives for a paid holiday, not for overtime or premium pay. Human Resources define “holiday pay” as the wages earned by an employee for a day he or she didn’t work. Holiday pay is therefore paid at the worker’s regular rate.

For example, Erik works 40 hours during a week with a paid holiday. His paycheck would reflect 40 hours of regular or straight time and 8 additional hours of “holiday pay” at the regular rate. Erik’s pay would then consist of 48 hours of pay at the regular rate.

Of course, Georgia and federal laws require that anyone working over 40 hours in one week be paid overtime pay. In Erik’s example, however, he’s being paid for a day he didn’t work, so he isn’t eligible or overtime pay.

Carly works at the same company and logs 47 hours during the week with a holiday. Her paycheck would reflect 40 hours of regular time, 8 hours of holiday pay and 7 hours of overtime. If she worked on the holiday, and her company pays a premium rate for doing so, her paycheck would be different. This holiday fell on Thursday, so Carly would receive 30 hours of straight time, 10 hours of premium holiday pay, and 7 hours of overtime. Since the premium rate is time and a half, the same as overtime, Carly would be paid for 17 hours of overtime.


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