Is it legal for an employer to pay some staff for working holiday but not all staff?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for an employer to pay some staff for working holiday but not all staff?

I work at a hotel in Iowa 11 pm to 7 am shift. Should I get paid holiday pay for working over night. Other staff gets paid holiday pay working other 2 shifts.

Asked on September 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Holiday pay is not a legally mandated benefit. Accordingly, it is up to a company's discretion to provide it or to provide to some but not all employees. The fact is that unless some form of legally actionable discrimination is the reason for the differing treatment (i.e. different treatment based on a worker's race, religion, age (over 40), disability or the like), not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. Also, such action must not violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. Botto line, in an "at will" work setting, a business can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit.

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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