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Paul Zimmerman

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Should Workers Receive Double Pay on Holidays?

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has recently proposed AB 67, The Holiday Pay Bill, which would require California employers to pay employees twice their hourly rate on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Currently, Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island all prohibit retailers from being open on major holidays. However, according to Gonzales, more and more retail establishments and restaurants in California are opening on holidays, and for longer hours. The law would not impact police, fire and medical providers who are unionized and already receive triple pay on holidays. 

If passed, this new legislation will likely pave the way for a series of slippery slopes—why, for example, would Christmas be defined as a holiday worthy of double-pay but not July 4th or Labor Day? Additionally, with California’s new hotel legislation, minimum wage employees making a $15.37 hourly wage would be making $30.74 an hour. This burden on hotel owners and management will likely further inflate prices during the holiday season. The bill also fails to address whether or not those employees working over eight hours during a “holiday” are entitled to additional overtime pay.

Certainly, lawmakers would be well advised to have economic impact studies conducted, and clarity brought to the potential new legislation, before going up for a vote.

To read the proposed bill, click here.

This article is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.