Paid holidays aren't mandatory, but few employers like being Scrooge
- No employment law requires employers to pay workers for putting in time on a holiday, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The only exception is when the time worked amounts to more than a 40-hour workweek.
- Few employers want the reputation of being a Scrooge, so most pay workers for government-sanctioned holidays, like Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and July 4. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that 75% of people, or 116 million civilian workers, get paid holidays. In private industry, 77% of workers are paid for holidays. In government, the figure is 66%.
- BLS figures show that fewer lower paid employees are paid for holidays. In the lowest 25% of the workforce based on wages, 53% of employees receive paid holidays. And in the lowest 10% the of workforce, only 40% of employees are paid for holidays.
Luckily for many workers, most employers offer paid holidays. Unfortunately, employees who could use paid holidays the most are the least likely to receive them. One explanation might be the high rate of turnover in low-paying jobs, such as those in retail or other service industries. Employers might not feel they can afford to offer paid holidays when staff retention is a problem.
On the other hand, employees might be less likely to leave – or at least not leave as soon – if they received paid holidays. Employers who don’t offer paid holidays might want to reconsider their position and offer employees paid holidays as a retention-booster.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette At work on Christmas? It’s not just you Many workers get holiday pay but it’s not mandatory