California Holiday Premiums and Overtime

The California Court of Appeals determined that an employer who has agreed to pay a premium to a non-exempt employee working on a holiday is not responsible for paying overtime on the premium rate. In the case of Advanced-Tech Security Svcs., Inc. v. Superior Court, an employer disputed the claim that an employee was not paid properly.

From California Wage Law:

In this case, Advanced-Tech had filed a motion for summary adjudication on the overtime claims on the ground that the plaintiff could not prove that she was not paid one-and-a-half times her regular rate of pay for the days she worked in excess of 8 hours per day and/or in excess of 40 hours in one week. The moving papers argued that she was paid time-and-a-half for her holiday work, and the holiday/premium pay was properly credited against overtime pay to the extent she worked in excess of a 40-hour workweek.

The opposition argued that she was entitled to premium pay for holidays, and if she worked in excess of 40 hours in the same week, she was also entitled to additional overtime payments because the pay provision for holidays set forth in her employee’s handbook was part of her regular rate of pay, citing Santa Monica Police Officers Assn. v. Board of Administration (1977) 69 Cal.App.3d 96, 100, footnote 3.

Advanced-Tech argued in the reply that in the applicable weeks, she worked 60 hours; she was paid at her regular rate for 40 hours; she received 12 hours of holiday pay; and she received 8 hours of overtime pay. Therefore, she was paid properly under section 510, with the premium holiday pay credited against overtime.

The trial court denied Advanced-Tech’s motion for summary adjudication and Advanced-Tech filed a petition for writ of mandate. The Court of Appeal issued a writ directing the trial court to grant the motion.

A rare victory for a California employer. Go figure.