Q. We need some of our employees to work during the holidays. Are we required to pay them extra for those days?
A. Unless you have a policy that states otherwise, you are not required to pay employees any additional wages for working on holidays. There is no state or federal law that requires Texas employers to pay additional wages for working on any day of the year, including holidays.
In fact, Texas laws do not require employers to observe any holidays or to pay employees if time off for holidays is granted.
If, however, you plan to either give employees certain holidays off (with or without pay) or to pay them additional wages for working on certain holidays, you should institute a uniformly applied policy.
In particular, the policy could specify:
- What happens if an employee works during a paid holiday
- Whether to offer employees “compensatory holidays” in the event that they must work through a paid holiday.
Keep in mind that under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are subject to religious discrimination laws. Those employers may be required to allow time off to employees with religious convictions on certain holidays in order to observe religious customs, unless doing so would be an undue hardship for the business.