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Do you have a right to paid holidays?

The holidays are coming up, and that leaves many workers in Michigan wondering what rights they have. If they get the day off to be with their families, do they have a right to be paid for that time?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, this is not a right given by law to all workers. This is true for federal holidays or vacations, along with all others. Workers do not have to be paid if they do not work, even on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day or New Year's Day.

That's not to say that workers will not be paid. The law simply leaves it up to the employer and the employee to work out under the employment contract. Many companies do give their employees time off for the holidays, and many companies pay their employees for this time. It's just worth noting that this is a benefit given out by the employer, not a right given out by state or federal law.

Of course, if workers do work on the holidays, they are required to be paid for their time. Many companies will give out time and a half for these hours, basically paying overtime to workers who will be there on the holidays.

If you do not think that you were compensated properly when you worked on the holidays, it's important to note exactly what rights you have and what your employment contract said. Often, whether or not you have a case against your employer is going to come down to those contract details more than anything else, like wage and hour laws.

Source: DOL, "Holidays," accessed Dec. 07, 2015

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