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Minnesota Holiday Pay Law

Posted by Tamara

Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, or a “federal holiday,” any general industry may be open and may schedule workers to come in on those holidays. Employers are not required to give workers paid holidays off.

This applies not only in Minnesota but nationwide. There is no Minnesota law, no other state law, and no federal law requiring employers to offer paid holidays.

When Minnesota employees have to work on a holiday, no state law says they must be paid more for that day than for a normal day. No federal law requires such a move either. Some employers, nevertheless, will offer extra pay as an incentive for those willing to work on holidays, but businesses are not required to do so.

Minnesota employers may decide to close on holidays like Thanksgiving, Labor Day, or Memorial Day. If they do, they are not required by either federal or by state law to pay their workers for that day.

Simply stated, the law requires that employers must pay workers for every hour they put in, but not for any hours they do not work, whether on a holiday or not.

Some employees may be confused by the term “federal holiday,” thinking there are certain holidays that are required by federal law. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in the U.S. When the term “federal holiday” is used, it means that federal agencies such as the postal service are closed for the day.

This is unlike many European countries, where laws often require that almost all employers shut down on certain holidays. In the U.K., Christmas is such a holiday. No equivalent law exists in the U.S.

The bottom line is that businesses in Minnesota may be open 365 days of the year. Some are open by necessity and some by choice.

For example, hospitals as well as fire and police departments will be open by necessity, as will gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants. Employees in these fields typically are scheduled on holidays.

Some employers are open by choice, such as malls and other major retail outlets.

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