From the Hotline: Holiday Pay for Certain Employees Only

Question: May a company offer holiday pay to office personnel, but not the field employees?

Answer: Federal and state laws do not require employers to offer holiday pay. Therefore, they typically leave the policies surrounding holiday pay to the employers to define.

An employer is permitted to “class out” a certain group of employees from holiday pay as long as it is not discriminatory to any protected class of employees.

For example, an employer may offer holiday pay to certain departments but not others, or to full-time employees and not part time, or to those with a specific length of service (tenure) with the company. The key indicator is to ensure that the employer’s policy and practice is not discriminatory.

Be sure that the policy is clearly written. Since the excluded employees may be concerned that they are not able to receive the benefit, the employer may want to include a legitimate business reason as to why the company is “classing out” the specific group of employees.