Can my employer not pay me for scheduled holiday days off when he did not object to them?

UPDATED: Jan 2, 2012

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Can my employer not pay me for scheduled holiday days off when he did not object to them?

About 2 weeks ago the schedule for the staff at my job was posted for the residents and given to the employer. He did not object to any of the days and did not state that if we went along the schedule, that he was OK with, that we would not be paid. I have been informed that the employer is debating if he should pay us or not. If he did not object to the schedule, can he decide after the fact and not pay me?

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) If these were days you accrue or earn, such as vacation days, as part of your compensation, you must clearly be paid for them.

2) If there are holiday days freely given by the employer, then the situation is more complicated. Since employers are not obligated to provide paid holidays, they would be free to not pay them. Given that the schedule had been posted, the question will largely turn on whether the employer actually represented to employees in some way that these days would be paid; if so, the employer sould almost certain have to pay them. But if there was no indication one way or another that the days would be paid, then the employer may be able to disclaim paying them, particularly if your field or at this job it is not unusual for holiday days to be unpaid.

Another issue is, if you believe you should have been paid under the circumstances, but your employer will not voluntarily pay you, you'd have to sue the employer for the pay...which has its own significant costs, both monetary and otherwise.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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