Working on the 4th of July: Do Retail Workers Get Time and a Half?

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Many Massachusetts retail stores are open on the 4th of July. It’s great for shoppers, but it’s not always great for retail employees because some employers don’t pay their workers something called “Holiday Premium Pay.”  If you’re working on July 4th, you may be entitled to time-and-a-half wages.


I’m Working on July 4th. Does my Massachusetts Employer Have to Pay Me Time-and-a-Half?

In most cases the answer is yes.

Massachusetts recognizes certain holidays, including Independence Day, as a legal holiday. Generally if a retailer has a total of 7 or more employees on its payroll, then any “non-exempt” worker who works on the Fourth of July must be paid time-and-a-half.

Time-and-a-half pay for working on holidays is called “Holiday Premium Pay.

A “non-exempt” worker is someone who is not an administrative, executive, or professional employee. Basically, if you don’t have the authority to “hire and fire” and to make your own schedule, you’re probably a “non-exempt” employee who has to be paid time-and-a-half.

What Should You Do If You Work on the 4th of July?

If you’re working on the 4th of July, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure you’re getting paid what you’re entitled to under Massachusetts law.

  • make sure that you keep track of the number of hours you worked on July 4th
  • check your next pay stub to be sure you were paid for the exact time you worked
  • make sure you received one-and-a half times your regularly hourly rate for July 4th

Here’s an example of what you’re entitled to if you work on July 4th:

You’re a sales associate at a popular clothing store for women. You’re scheduled to work a 5 hour shift.  You get paid $10/hour regularly.

On a regular weekday, you’d be entitled to $50 for your shift ($10/hr x 5hrs = $50).

If you work your 5 hours on July 4th, though, your total pay for the day should be $75 ($10 x 1.5 = $15/hr. (This is your Holiday Premium Pay rate) $15 x 5hrs = $75).

If You’re Not Paid Holiday Premium Pay What Can You Do?

If you don’t receive your time-and-a-half, you do have rights under Massachusetts law.

One thing you can do is to discuss it with your manager or employer. It may have been a simple oversight and they may choose to correct the problem.

Another thing you can do is check with some of your co-workers to see if it happened to them too. If it is happening to your co-workers, they may have a right to get their unpaid wages in a class action lawsuit.

The Attorney General has the authority to investigate your situation. However, if you can’t get the problem solved, you should consult a lawyer familiar with Massachusetts Wage and Hour laws.

Still Have Questions About Your Paycheck?

If you’d like one of our attorneys to review your pay stub to make sure you’ve been paid the proper amount for working on July 4th, contact us for a FREE Pay Stub Review.

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