What is the legal definition of a ‘paid holiday’?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What is the legal definition of a ‘paid holiday’?

I am a salaried employee and in my employment
contract it lists 6 ‘paid holidays’.
I have been forced to work on all of them. My
employers argument is that
‘You are paid salary and it says paid holiday,
it does not say day off.’
I am not paid extra for working the holiday, so
what does ‘paid holiday’ even mean if I have to

Asked on August 28, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no official legal definition, since the law does not guaranty paid holidays or regulate them--there is no right to paid holidays in the law. 
The common understanding of "paid holiday" would be a day you are paid for without working. The problem for you is, a salaried employee can be required to work on days or at times he or she would normally not work--e.g. on weekends or evenings--and does not receive any extra compensation for doing so; the regular weekly salary is the only compensation you get for all work you do that week, even work on what would normally be time off. If a salaried employee is required to work on a paid holiday, he or she does receive extra pay. So while what your employer is doing is unfair or unethical, it is legal: they can make you work on what would normally be a paid holiday and not pay you anything extra for it.

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