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FAQs about working overtime during the holidays

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The holidays are upon us, which means the company you work for could be entering its busiest time of year. Your boss may schedule you to work on a holiday or ask you to work overtime. Working for long hours and on special days can be tiring and frustrating. You may have some questions about working during the holiday season.

You deserve fair treatment and pay no matter what time of year it is. Here are answers to some common questions about wage and hour laws during the holiday season.

Do I deserve overtime for working on a holiday?

You may be working on one or more of the following holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Black Friday
  • Christmas
  • New Year's Day

Contrary to popular belief, you do not automatically get overtime pay for working on any holiday. According to California laws, your employer has no obligation to pay you at a higher rate. The decision to reward you with overtime for working on a holiday is up to your employer. However, even though the law does not require it, your employment contract might. Review your employment documents to see if your employer promises to pay you more on holidays.

When do I get overtime pay?

If you are a nonexempt employee, your employer must pay you one and one half your standard pay for any hours you work over 40 hours in a workweek or over eight hours in a workday. Long shifts are commonplace during the bustling holiday season. If you work overtime, make sure you receive the proper pay. 

What do I do about unpaid overtime?

Unfortunately, not every employer follows the rules. If you work overtime but your boss does not give you the pay required by law, you may need to take legal action. A lawyer can file a wage and hour complaint on your behalf and and submit a claim against your employer. 

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