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Is Holiday Pay Worth It?

Ylan Mui

Hello, three-day weekend!

I'm off today, so that means I'm probably still sleeping and dreaming of bacon doughnut burgers (Yep, still obsessed) while you read this. And if you're reading this, that probably means that you're at work.

I'm so sorry. Or am I?

It's true that working on a holiday means that you aren't barbecuing in someone's backyard right now and all the good fireworks are gone. But you are also likely to get compensated for your misery.

According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets the standards for minimum wage and overtime pay, companies are not required to pay you on any days you don't work, even if it is a holiday. The federal government pays its employees on these days anyway, and many companies follow suit. So you don't lose out for celebrating our nation's independence.

But if you do work on a holiday, it can be lucrative. The federal government essentially doubles your wages . At The Post, we receive 1.5 times our normal hourly pay. Plus this year we have the added bonus of taking Friday off since the actual holiday falls on a Saturday, when most of us don't work anyway.

The extra money can definitely come in handy during these tough economic times. And while you're at work making money, you're not out spending it. A news report from Ireland said nearly three-quarters of workers abandoned vacation plans in favor of working through the summer.

The promise of extra pay usually isn't enough to get me to come in on a holiday, but the recession may make me change my mind. What do you think: Is working on a holiday worth it? Let me know at muiy[at]washpost.com or on Twitter at @ylanmui. But I can't promise that I'll respond until I'm back at work.


By Ylan Mui  |  July 3, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Unemployment , Ylan Q. Mui  
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