November 15, 2021

Are Holiday Workers Legally Entitled to Overtime Pay?

With November upon us, it is officially “go time” for retail stores—as Black Friday deals begin. Despite an increase in eCommerce and supply chain disruptions, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz predicts a booming holiday shopping season for 2021. 

In-store shopping is expected to resume to nearly pre-pandemic levels, prompting retailers to resume hiring larger numbers of seasonal workers. If you’re one of these businesses looking to hire more seasonal workers, you might be wondering:

Are holiday workers legally entitled to holiday or overtime pay?

Holiday Pay & Overtime Laws in MN

According to the NRF, it’s estimated that U.S. retailers are looking to hire between 500,000 and 665,000 seasonal workers this holiday season. That’s up from 486,000 in 2020. Seasonal workers are essential for stores during increased business over the holidays, but some employers may wonder if the extra help is worth it for their bottom line. 

A worker’s contract, employer’s policies, or a union agreement will typically outline the practices for paying employees for working during the holidays. 

Federal and state laws do not provide any provisions for increased holiday pay rates or overtime for working on a holiday. Private employers are allowed to schedule employees to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, paying them the same rate as any other workday. Unless an employee picks up an extra shift on a holiday that pushes them over the 40-hour limit, they will not be paid anything extra for holiday work. 

States do vary, however, on overtime pay laws. In Minnesota, the state requires that employers pay overtime after 48 hours worked in one week. In other states, it may not be a legal requirement at all, though many employers may still choose to pay time-and-a-half for overtime worked in one week. 

This means an employee is paid 50% of their hourly wage on top of their regular rate for every hour worked past 48 hours. Employers should always consider factors like employee morale and satisfaction when deciding on holiday and/or overtime pay rates. Though not always a legal requirement, extra pay for extra work is always gratefully appreciated, especially around the holidays.

Have Questions about MN Holiday Pay Laws?

To learn more about holiday pay rates and Minnesota business law, contact the experts at KTF Law Firm. Our team is ready to provide you with sound legal services to ensure that your business adheres to all labor and compensation laws. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to working with you!

Two holiday workers cutting wrapping paper to wrap store items.
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