• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Holiday premium isn’t the basis for overtime calculation

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Good news for California employers that pay their employees time-and-a-half for holiday work: You don’t have to cough up additional pay for overtime hours worked on a holiday.

Recent case:
Ester Roman worked as a security guard for Advanced-Tech Security Services and was often scheduled to work holidays. The employee handbook specified that employees who worked on holidays would be paid 150% of their regular pay for those holiday hours.

Roman worked 12 hours on Labor Day, followed by 12 hours on both Tuesday and Wednesday, plus eight hours each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for a total of 60 hours.

The company paid her the holiday premium for Monday (12 hours of time-and-a-half holiday pay), plus another eight hours of overtime for the four extra hours on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Roman sued, alleging she should have been paid additional overtime for some of the holiday hours, using the premium pay as the base for that overtime.

The court rejected Roman’s claim, reasoning that nothing in the California Labor Code or the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay overtime on holiday pay when the holiday pay already equals one-and-a-half times the regular rate. (Advanced-Tech Security Services v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, B205186, Court of Appeal of California, 2nd Appellate Division, 2008)

Final note: Calculating overtime to comply with both the FLSA and the California Labor Code is tricky, and getting it wrong is expensive. Roman tried to make this a class action.

Leave a Comment