is it legal for an employer to refuse to pay wages for a national holiday?

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is it legal for an employer to refuse to pay wages for a national holiday?

Our insurance agency was sold effective 01/01; the closing happened 01/02. The new owners have advised they are not going to pay myself or the receptionist for New Year’s Day since the office was closed.

Asked on January 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Leaving aside any written employments for the moment, it is 100% legal. There is NO legal requirement that any holidays, including national holidays be paid or that employees be paid when they are not working. Many employers choose to have paid holidays, but that is their voluntary choice; they do not have to.
You mention empoyment agreements: if you have written employment agreements that are with the LLC or corporation with which you are currently employed, they are enforceable; agreements with the prior LLC or corporation, if the entity you are now working for is a different LLC or corporation (i.e. if in the course of the business being sold, you ended up working for a different LLC or corporation), are not binding on the current or new employer. (So even if you are still doing the same job at the same location, etc., if you are working for a new entity, contracts with the old entity are not enforceable against the new employer.) If you do have such in-effect contracts which call for you to get paid holidays and you did not, you could sue the employer for "breach of contract" to get the money; whether or not it is worth suing your employer over this is something you will have to decide for yourselves.


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