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Shutdown during holiday week Massachusetts

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  • Shutdown during holiday week Massachusetts

    Hello. My company in Massachusetts is looking to shutdown during a holiday week. We typically would get paid for the holiday, can the company take away the holiday pay and make all employees (exempt and non-exempt) take the 5 days unpaid?

    If the holiday must be paid, can exempt be told to take the 4 other days as unpaid? Can non-exempts?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Does the holiday week exactly cover the defined work week?

    While MA has laws regarding the payment of employees who work on the holiday, no state, including MA, requires that you provide non-exempt employees with paid holidays. So as far as non-exempts go, you do not have to pay them for the holiday or the rest of the week, AS LONG AS THERE IS NOT A CONTRACT IN PLACE GUARANTEEING THE HOLIDAY AS PAID. In MA, you are more likely than in other states to have a handbook that states paid holidays as being considered contractual than you are in, say, Alabama. If there is such a handbook or written policy, make sure you have your corporate counsel review it.

    For exempt employees, we need to know the answer to the question above before we can comment.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure what you mean by "Does the holiday week exactly cover the defined work week?"

      Our work week is defined at Sunday 12 am-Saturday 11:59pm, the holiday week would be Monday-Thursday work days and a Friday holiday. And we do have an employee handbook/policies that states the company paid holidays.

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      • #4
        Okay, that answers the question.

        You'll need to have your corporate counsel review your handbook to see if the list of paid holidays would be considered contractual under MA law and MA's Good Faith and Fair Dealing Act. It will involve a review of the language over the entire book so we can't tell from here.

        However, that will only determine whether or not you are required to pay the holiday or not, and the answer will be the same for both exempt and non-exempt employees. Unless I am missing something major (DAW, Patty or Phil can say if I am) you would not be required to pay either exempt or non-exempt employees for Monday through Thursday based on the specific circumstances you have described.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Sounds right to me.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Thank you very much for your help.

            Comment

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