Can an employer withhold holiday pay for full-time employees and pay it to some if the holiday is in the handbook?

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2012

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Can an employer withhold holiday pay for full-time employees and pay it to some if the holiday is in the handbook?

Asked on October 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

"Holiday pay" is not an automatic right in Texas.  The only thing that your employer is required to pay you is the wages that you have earned.

With that being said, however, paying some employees but not paying other employees can still lead to legal problems for an employer.  If the employer is paying some employees holiday pay, but not paying other employees who are similarly situated, this could be a sign of discrimination.  Not following policy manuals and regular procedures are often used as evidence of sexual, age, and racial discrimination.  For example, if both sets of employees would be otherwise allowed to have the holiday pay beause they were both full-time and both otherwise complied with the handbook, then the group slighted could use this as evidence of disparate treatment in a discrimination suit.

If the groups are different and the policy book allows the the groups to be treated differently, then it would not be as good evidence of discrimination.  For example, if the policy handbook only provided for holiday pay for full-time employees, then part-time employees wouldn't have much of a remedy because being "part-time" is not a class of persons who are protected by dicrimination laws. 

Another option under either situation discribed above is to follow-up with the HR department if the company is big enough to have one.  Often, managers like to take things into their own hands and the HR department usually comes into to fix what the manager never had authority to change. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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