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Calif. and Ohio Lawmakers Moving to Increase Holiday Pay

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 01, 2014 3:01 PM

As the holidays approach, employees everywhere are dreading having to work on a handful of days. Some of them will receive a bump in pay as incentive, but that isn't always the case.

Lawmakers in California and Ohio are trying to increase that incentive by increasing holiday pay in their respective states. U-T San Diego reports that California legislators are pushing for a new bill that would entitle workers to double pay on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What will these holiday pay laws change if passed?

California Bill Would Double Holiday Pay

Like any state, California has legal holidays on which its government offices are closed and its government workers are entitled to paid time off. There are no federal laws which require private employers to give employees paid time off during these holiday times -- even on federal holidays. This has left holiday compensation up to state and local lawmakers.

Lawmakers like California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who is pushing a bill which would force employers to compensate employees twice their normal pay for working on Thanksgiving and Christmas. According to U-T San Diego, the bill would apply to full-time and part-time workers and is focused on those workers compelled to work on the holidays.

Ohio Bill Seeks Triple Pay on Thanksgiving

Think double pay is a gift on the holidays? Try triple. Ohio State Rep. Mike Foley is spearheading a bill to give Ohio workers triple pay on Thanksgiving. According to The Associated Press, Foley believes this bill would allow employees to "bow out of the holiday shift" and keep companies from encroaching on holiday family time.

With Black Friday creeping ever earlier into Thanksgiving Thursday, retailers have been pressured into keeping doors open on Thanksgiving. Under Ohio's current minimum wage laws, workers may be paid as little as $7.25 an hour for a Thanksgiving day shift. That number would increase to $21.75 per hour if Foley's bill is successful.

Learn more about how workers are compensated in your state by visiting FindLaw's section on Wage and Hour Laws.

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