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What Are My Rights as a Worker on Thanksgiving?

workers rights

Black Friday sales have become a part of Thanksgiving, and companies trying to get an edge up on their competition are opening earlier each year. For some workers, Black Friday is cutting their holiday shorter and shorter.

With holiday gatherings and festivities, many workers may be tempted to simply refuse to work on Thanksgiving if they get scheduled. However, despite the day being a designated federal holiday, employees who refuse to work when scheduled may suffer consequences, including termination.

Can I Receive Holiday Pay?

In Pennsylvania and throughout the United States, workers are not guaranteed the holiday off. Additionally, most government offices are closed, and employees are paid their regular pay for the day off. However, private employers are only required to pay non-exempt workers their regular rate. Some workers will not receive holiday pay. However, overtime rules still apply.

Am I Entitled to Overtime Pay?

While some public employers pay a holiday premium, often 150 percent of their regular wages, private employers are not obligated. Pennsylvania does not require employers to pay overtime for hours worked in excess of eight per day or on weekends or holidays. The reason for this is that there is no federal or state law requiring private employers to close for a holiday, even if it is a federal holiday. There is also no law that requires an employer to pay you for the holiday if the employer is closed.

However, in Pennsylvania, non-exempt employees are required to receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 times their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Since the holiday season often means the employee is working more than 40 hours in a week, a shift at Thanksgiving may qualify for overtime pay.

There is a bonus to the Pennsylvania overtime law: overtime pay can still be collected up to three years from the date the pay was earned. Additionally, workers are entitled to an additional 25 percent of the unpaid overtime wages if they are paid more than 30 days past the due date. Federal law provides the worker with up to two years to collect overtime pay and three years if the employer was intentionally violating overtime law.

Workers Exempt From Overtime Laws

There are employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours. According to Pennsylvania state law, exempt executive employees are those who are primarily managing the organization, a department, or regularly directing two or more employees. However, the exempt employee may also be an administrative worker in the executive office. Other jobs that are not subject to the overtime pay laws include salespeople, mechanics in the automobile, truck, or aircraft industries, taxicab drivers, movie theater employees, among others.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Employees Get the Pay They Deserve

As an employee, you should know your rights if you must work on Thanksgiving. If you are not getting your entitled pay, our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.