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A Four-Day Weekend for Thanksgiving

November 15, 1999
Related Topics: Wages and Hours, Featured Article
Issue: You wish to give your employees a four-day weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday, but you are concerned about the costs associated with a one-day loss of production. Can your employees enjoy the day after Thanksgiving off and then be expected to make up the time at a later date?

Answer: Employers are cautioned to avoid inadvertently violating federal wage-hour laws by giving employees a four-day Thanksgiving weekend and then expecting them to make up the lost time later. Many companies observe the Friday after Thanksgiving as a holiday. The Labor Department has noted that there is no problem with an employer granting Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday as holidays, either with or without pay.

A violation could arise, however, if the employees are then asked to work extra hours without proper compensation in some other workweek to make up for the time lost. Such an arrangement could result in violating the time and a half requirement for over 40 hours of work in any workweek.

So long as a company doesn’t have a union contract or operate in a state that requires overtime pay for a particular number of hours worked in a single day, an employer could require employees who took the Friday holiday to make up the lost time within the Thanksgiving workweek.

SOURCE: CCH Incorporated is a leading provider of information and software for human resources, legal, accounting, health-care and small-business professionals. CCH offers human resource management, payroll, employment, benefits, and worker-safety products and publications in print, CD, online and via the Internet. For more information and other updates on the latest HR news, check our Web site at

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.

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