24.16.2521 PAY FOR FOREGOING HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS
(1) Sums payable whether employee works or not. Certain payments made to an employee for periods during which he performs no work because of a holiday or vacation are not required to be included in the regular rate because they are not regarded as compensation for working. Suppose an employee who is entitled to such a paid idle holiday or paid vacation foregoes his holiday or vacation and performs work for the employer on the holiday or during the vacation period. If, under the terms of his employment, he is entitled to a certain sum as holiday or vacation pay, whether he works or not, and receives pay at his customary rate (or higher) in addition for each hour that he works on the holiday or vacation day, the certain sum allocable to holiday or vacation pay is still to be excluded from the regular rate. It is still not regarded as compensation for hours of work if he is otherwise compensated at his customary rate (or at a higher rate) for his work on such days. Since it is not compensation for work it may not be credited toward overtime compensation due under the Law. Two examples in which the maximum hours standard is 40 hours may serve to illustrate this principle:
(a) An employee whose rate of pay is $2 an hour and who usually works a 6 day 48 hour week is entitled , under his employment contract, to a week's paid vacation in the amount of his usual straight-time earnings - $96. He forgoes his vacation and works 50 hours in the week in question. He is owed $100 as his total straight time earnings for the week, and $96 in addition as his vacation pay. Under the statute he is owed an additional $10 as overtime premium (additional
half-time) for the 10 hours in excess of 40. His regular rate of $2 per hour has not been increased by virtue of the payment of $96 vacation pay, but no part of the $96 may be offset against the statutory overtime compensation which is due. (Nothing in this example is intended to imply that the employee has a statutory right to $96 or any other sum as vacation pay. This is a matter of private contract between the parties who may agree that vacation pay will be measured by straight time earnings for any agreed number of hours or days, or by total normal or expected take-home pay for the period or that no vacation pay at all will be paid. The example merely illustrates the proper method of computing overtime for an employee whose employment contract provides $96 vacation pay.)
(b) An employee who is entitled under his employment contract to 8 hours pay at his rate of $2 an hour for the Christmas holiday, foregoes his holiday and works 9 hours on that day. During the entire week he works a total of 50 hours. He is paid under his contract, $100 as straight time compensation for 50 hours plus $16 as idle holiday pay. He is owed under the statute, an additional $10 hours in excess of 40. His regular rate of $2 per hour has not been increased by virtue of the holiday pay but no part of the $16 holiday pay may be credited toward statutory overtime compensation due.
(2) Premiums for holiday work distinguished. The example in paragraph (1) (b) of this section should be distinguished from a situation in which an employee is entitled to idle holiday pay under the employment agreement only when he is actually idle on the holiday, and who, if he foregoes his holiday also, under his contract, foregoes his idle holiday pay.
(a) The typical situation is one in which an employee is entitled by contract to 8 hours pay at his rate of $2 an hour for certain named holidays when no work is performed. If, he is required to work on such days, he does not receive his idle holiday pay. Instead he receives a premium rate of $3 (time and one-half) for each hour worked on the holiday. If he worked 9 hours on the holiday and a total of 50 hours for the week, he would be owed, under his contract, $27 (9 X $3) for the holiday work and $82 for the other 41 hours worked in the week, a total of $109. Under the statute (which does not require premium pay for a holiday) he is owed $110 for a workweek of 50 hours at a rate of $2 an hour. Since the holiday premium is one and one-half times the established rate for nonholiday work, it does not increase the regular rate because it qualifies as an overtime premium and the employer may credit it toward statutory overtime compensation due and need pay the employee only the additional sum of $1 to meet the statutory requirements.
(b) If all other conditions remained the same but the contract called for the payment of $4 (double time) for each
hour worked on the holiday, the employee would receive, under his contract, $36 (9 X $4) for the holiday work in addition to $82 for the other 41 hours worked, a total of $118. Since this holiday premium is also an overtime premium, it is excludable from the regular rate and the employer may credit it toward statutory overtime compensation due. Because the total thus paid exceeds the statutory requirements, no additional compensation is due under the Law. In distinguishing this situation from that in the example in paragraph (1) (b) of this section, it should be noted that the contract provisions in the two situations are different and result in the payment of different amounts. In example (b) the employee received a total of $34 attributable to the holiday: 8 hours' idle holiday pay at $2 an hour, due him whether he worked or not, and $18 pay at the nonholiday rate for 9 hours' work on the holiday. In the situation discussed in this paragraph the employee received $36 pay for working on the holiday - double time for 9 hours of work. Thus, clearly, all of the pay in this situation is paid for and directly related to the number of hours worked on the holiday.
History: Sec. 39-3-403, MCA; IMP, 39-3-405, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72.