The holiday season is officially upon us and we want to make sure you don’t have a Scrooge or Grinch attitude this year. Stress and anxiety levels are at a record high without adding the holidays to it. We want to help you and your team stay merry and bright by giving tips to help navigate the most wonderful time of the year.
What Are My Responsibilities as an Employer?
• Create and communicate a clear policy regarding holiday pay, time off, and expectations for all employees. This should be placed in the Employee Handbook and referenced whenever a dispute or claim comes about. If you need help creating one or want our HR professionals to review your current book, please contact us.
• Employers are not required to give time off for the holidays. Though it’s a nice idea, not all businesses can afford closing down or letting employees enjoy a day to themselves. As the employer, you can select which days to operate or close. This is your choice and there is no law requiring that employees be given any extra time off during this season.
• Employers do not have to pay for time off for holidays or give additional wages for non-exempt employees working on holidays. This is a widely held belief that employees should be paid 1.5 to 2 times their normal rate of pay during the holiday. However, there is no law requiring this for employees in California. Legislature has tried multiple times in passing such a law, but have yet to be successful. If anything changes in the future, we will let you know.
• Be mindful that employees who hold religious views are protected by law and must be given reasonable accommodations to observe any religious holiday. Reasonable accommodations are case-by-case depending on business type and what is being requested by the employee. Again, having a clear and fair policy in place will save potential grievances.
Other Tips and Practices
• Employees should have a clear understanding of how and when to make time-off requests. There should also be a fair system in place should multiple employees request the same time off. Things to consider: how easy will it be to cover the employee’s duties, and how many employees can you be down while still providing an outstanding experience for your customers.
• What if my pay day falls on a holiday? If an employer is closed on a listed holiday from the California Government Code, then wages may be paid the following business day. Employers can choose to pay a day before but this is entirely up to the decision makers.
• Make sure you take time to show appreciation to your workers. This can be done in a variety of ways without much costs. We love promoting sincere, hand-written notes whenever possible. But you can also bring in treats (breakfast burritos anyone?) and warm drinks just because. Here are 50 other tips you can use this holiday season.
• The last thing we want to suggest is to give you ways to help reduce stress during this time. Volunteer days are great for team bonding and creating joy. Using a day off to serve together relaxes the body, connects the soul, and helps all of us focus on the positive things. Another hopeful strategy is to make a de-stress plan for January. This time of year could require all hands on deck, but letting workers know in the next month, you’ll provide more flexibility can be a big morale boost.
If you’re feeling burdened this season, let us help. Our team is devoted to making sure you operate your best so that your mission is accomplished. We are just one click away.