Holidays – To pay or not to pay?
Holidays - To pay or not to pay?
Do Not Discriminate
You are not required to pay your non-exempt (hourly) employees on days that the business is closed. So if you close for a religious or secular holiday, you do not have to pay your non-exempt employees. But if you do choose to pay your employees for holidays, then you may not discriminate. You may not pay some employees and not others except in certain specific circumstances where you may have a written contract with executive or managerial-level employees.
Holiday Pay is not Sick Pay
NY and NJ law require you to provide at least 5 paid sick days to your full-time employees. (7 days if you have more than 100 employees) You may not force your employees to take those days during a holiday week in which your business is closed. Employees must be allowed to use those days when they need them throughout the year.
Some Employees Working on Holiday
What if your business remains open and some employees take off for the holiday and others will be working? You may pay the employees who take off but you have to provide extra compensation to those who did work. One option could be to give those employees extra days off to be taken some other time during the year. Another option could be paying them extra for working during the holiday. One must be careful not to discriminate by giving days off for one religious holiday and not other religious holidays.