Can my employer legally take away a paid holiday outlined in my employee handbook?

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Can my employer legally take away a paid holiday outlined in my employee handbook?

My company’s employee handbook says that salaried employees receive specific paid holidays, including the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). However, the company informed us today that this Black Friday will be a non- paid holiday. Because I am a salaried employee and based on our handbook, I am entitled to being paid for that day. Can they legally take away this paid holiday?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer depends on whether whether 1) the employee handbook could be said to actually form an implied contract, rather than simply being a summary of what the employer chooses to do; and 2) even if the answer to 1) above, is true, whether the company has the right to amend or alter the policies at will.

Basically, if the handbook contains any of the following language, or anything similar to it--

* Nothing in the handbook creates an employment contract

* Policies are subject to change at will [or at any time]

--then there is nothing binding or enforceable to it. If it does not contain language like this, it *might* create an enforceable obligation on the part of the company, but for a more definitive answer, bring the book to an employment attorney so he or she can review all the language therein.


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