April 17, 2009

Holiday Pay for Exempt Workers

Here is a very interesting question that I received about holiday pay and exempt employees...

Our company has a strict policy against calling out the day before or after a holiday. If an employee calls out on either of those days, they do not receive pay for the holiday. We have an exempt employee that called out the day after Thanksgiving. Can anyone tell me if we are required by law to pay him for the holiday because he is exempt? From the research I have done, I cannot find any conclusive answers.

First of all, how dare you not give your employees off the day after Thanksgiving. I don't know a soul alive that can effectively work with turkey day syndrome. I mean the stuffing and cranberry sauce effect is bad enough, but you expect them to come to work after eating a whole half of turkey too!!?? Shame on you!!

Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks. There is no law, written or otherwise that states that you have to pay for holiday pay...period! It's great that your company falls in with the 90 percentile of other companies that take pity on their employees and gives them some duly needed time off of work to worship, frollick, and otherwise enjoy their family without the contraints of the office. But, and listen close, because I will only say this one more time...You are not required to pay this worker for the holiday. You have a clearly stated policy (so you say) that stipulates that workers WILL NOT be paid for the holiday if they do not work the day before and the day after the holiday. Who cares that he was exempt? Does your "clearly stated" policy say "as long as you are not exempt"? I didn't think so. Don't pay the worker, and if he complains, remind him of the policy and show him where he signed his understanding if the policy. You did make him sign some kind of aknowledgement, right? Good...thought so.

Now, get back to work and stop goofing off sending me emails!

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