My Current State: 

Maryland Holiday Pay Law

Posted by Tamara

Several Maryland employees have asked, “Why do employees in some industries get more paid holidays than workers in other industries?”

The answer is because providing paid holidays is completely at the discretion of the individual employer. There is no Maryland law or federal law that requires employers to provide paid holidays for workers. Nor is there a law that requires companies to pay extra for employees who work on holidays.

The fact is Maryland and federal laws only require that an employee be paid for every hour worked.

This is often a surprise to employees and to employers who ask, “What about federal holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving? Aren’t those holidays required by the government?”

Again the answer is no. Federal holidays are merely days that federal agencies are closed. There are no U. S. laws that require employers to close their doors.

This means that Maryland employers can legally remain open 365 days a year and require their employees to work on any of those days, holidays included. (There are exceptions, such as “blue laws” which require some employers to close on Sundays.)

Consider, though, the employers industries that provide services and public safety. Retail stores and shopping malls often remain open on holidays. Hospitals, police and fire departments, and hotels, however, must remain open every day of the year. Employees in these industries routinely work on holidays. They often receive extra pay for working on holidays, but the law doesn’t require it.

So, why do employers provide paid holidays and/or pay workers extra for working on holidays?

Companies that close on federal holidays often provide their employees pay for those days as a benefit. Whether or not they close for holidays, employers often offer premium wages as an incentive for employees to work on days that they would otherwise prefer to have off, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.

They are not required by state or federal law to do either.


Last 10 posts by Tamara

Leave a Reply