Is probationary employee entitled to holiday pay?

Q. Are we required to offer holiday pay to employees who are within their 90-day probationary period? Or can we start paying extra for holiday work only after the probationary period is complete? — Pam, Ohio

A. It depends. If you offer holiday pay to employees as a matter of policy, then you do not have to offer holiday pay to probationary employees. Instead, you can wait until the employee becomes eligible under whatever terms your organization adopts.

However, if you offer holiday pay pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, then the terms of the agreement control this decision. Also, if you offer holiday pay because state law requires holiday pay, then you must offer holiday pay to all employees who are eligible under the state-law requirement. (Ohio does not have such a law but some other states—such as Massachusetts—do require holiday pay to certain eligible retail workers.)