Q. Is my employer required to pay me time and one-half for working on a legal holiday?
A. Overtime is generally required to be paid only after an employee works more than 40 hours in one week, regardless of whether or not a holiday occurs in the workweek. Holiday pay is subject to the policy of the employer. If however premium pay (defined as pay in an amount more than regular pay) is paid to one employee for working a holiday and not another, then there could be complications. Once a standard of premium pay is set for one employee, there is the possibility that by virtue of past practice it becomes the policy of the company and therefore the new standard applies to all employees.
Q. Am I entitled to be paid for unused vacation time or receive severance pay upon termination?
A. Vacation pay, holiday pay, bonuses, sick leave and severance pay are examples of wage agreements which may be made between employers and employees as a part of the employee´s total compensation. There is no requirement to offer these benefits. Your employer is, however, required to honor any established policy or agreement relating to the payment of benefits such as accrued vacation or severance pay upon termination. If you qualify for payment of benefits under the employer´s policy, you should be paid for these upon termination.
Disclaimer: No response to the above queries is intended as legal advice. The answers are general answers based on general questions. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney. This column is sponsored by the Lower Columbia Human Resource Management Association. LCHRMA represents a gathering of business and Human Resources professionals. Join us each month for a luncheon and training that covers many aspects of employment law and human resources.
Oct. 5: Gideon F. For-mukwai, Story Warrior: “Crossing Cultures With Story: Dare To Tell Your Story,” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort George Brewery,
1483 Duane Street, Astoria.
Nov. 1: Jenna Reed, General Counsel Cascade Employer Association: :Attracting, Retaining and Engaging Your Workforce or Employee,” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort George Brewery.
Register online. lchrma.org