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New Jersey Holiday Pay

Posted by Tamara

How many paid holidays per year are New Jersey employers required to provide their workers? How much extra “holiday pay” are employers required to pay when an employee works a holiday?


The answer to the first question is none. Most New Jersey companies provide from 5 to 7 paid holidays per year, but it is not required by law. New Jersey law does not require employers to provide paid holidays, nor does federal law. Each employer is allowed to set its own paid holiday policy, which is usually described in the employee handbook.


The answer to the second question is also none. New Jersey employers are not mandated by law to pay a premium rate to employees who work on holidays. Federal law doesn’t require it, nor does New Jersey law. In fact, the term “holiday pay” does not refer to an increase in wages. According to Human Resources professionals, “holiday pay” is simply the extra money employees receive for holidays when they don’t work.


Since New Jersey employees are receiving pay for time when they don’t work, the regular rate of pay can be used.


To illustrate, consider John, who is off on New Year’s Day. He works 40 hours during the week, and is entitled to be paid for the holiday. His paycheck will reflect 40 hours worked at his regular rate, and 8 hours of holiday pay at his regular rate.


Susie works for the same company, and she worked on New Year’s Day. Her employer does not pay a premium for working holidays. Susie put in 47 hours that week, so she is entitled to 40 hours at her regular rate, 8 hours of holiday pay at her regular rate and 7 hours of overtime.


Susie is entitled to overtime pay, because she worked more than 40 hours. Both New Jersey and federal laws require employers to pay overtime pay (1.5 times the usual hourly rate) to employees who work more than 40 hours in one week. The time she worked on the holiday is considered as part of the regular work week.


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