Can my employer not pay me for scheduled holiday days off when he did not object to them?

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Can my employer not pay me for scheduled holiday days off when he did not object to them?

About 2 weeks ago the schedule for the staff at my job was posted for the residents and given to the employer. He did not object to any of the days and did not state that if we went along the schedule, that he was OK with, that we would not be paid. I have been informed that the employer is debating if he should pay us or not. If he did not object to the schedule, can he decide after the fact and not pay me?

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If these were days you accrue or earn, such as vacation days, as part of your compensation, you must clearly be paid for them.

2) If there are holiday days freely given by the employer, then the situation is more complicated. Since employers are not obligated to provide paid holidays, they would be free to not pay them. Given that the schedule had been posted, the question will largely turn on whether the employer actually represented to employees in some way that these days would be paid; if so, the employer sould almost certain have to pay them. But if there was no indication one way or another that the days would be paid, then the employer may be able to disclaim paying them, particularly if your field or at this job it is not unusual for holiday days to be unpaid.

Another issue is, if you believe you should have been paid under the circumstances, but your employer will not voluntarily pay you, you'd have to sue the employer for the pay...which has its own significant costs, both monetary and otherwise.


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