Practice free to determine holiday closures, pay

December 25, 2012

The holidays are a time when many of your employees may want to take time off. Discover whether you need to compensate them for this time.

Q: Am I required to compensate my employees for extra days off during the holiday season?

A: No law requires that you close your practice or pay your employees for holidays. So you are not required to close on the days before or after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

You also are not required to provide your employees with any extra compensation, pursuant to any law. Only employees of the federal government are required to be given days off for specific, federally recognized holidays. All other employers are required only to adhere to their own policies and to compensate appropriately for work actually rendered. What that means is, if your practice’s policy stipulates that everyone gets an additional day to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day, then you cannot renege on that policy.

So the answer to your question is another question: Have you promised your employees, and has it been your practice over the years to give your employees, the day off before or after Christmas and New Year’s? If so, then you may be stuck honoring your common practice.

The author is healthcare department manager for Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC, Garden City, New York. This answer does not constitute legal advice. Send your practice management questions to medec@advanstar.com. Also engage at www.twitter.com/MedEconomics and www.facebook.com/MedicalEconomics.