Nasir Pasha, Esq.

McDonald’s to Open on Christmas Day: Holiday Pay, Overtime, and Unions

McDonald’s is pushing its franchise owners to open their stores on Christmas, and the fast-food chain won’t be paying workers holiday overtime at company-owned stores. Traditionally, many employers that require employees to work on major holidays extend some bonuses or an increased pay rate for the day; does that mean McDonald’s and other stores have any requirement to pay holiday overtime?

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

Holiday Pay Not Required and Overtime Rules Still Apply

A common myth among many business owners is that they are required to provide days off for holiday to their employees and if they do require them to work, they have to be prepared to pay them extra. Even in the employee-friendly state of California there is no requirement to provide employees with paid holidays nor a “holiday pay.” The law allows employers to set their own holidays, if any. They must follow their policy, but there are some employers that do not provide for any holidays at all.

As a clarification, overtime rules still apply, i.e. if the non-exempt employee who works more than eight hours in one day or more than forty in one work week is entitled to overtime pay.

Employees May Face Repercussions for Noncompliance

santa mcdonalds

At-will employees may be terminated or demoted for any legal reason. Employees generally have no given right not to work on a holiday unless it’s for religious reasons–even so, this issue gets complicated depending on the number of employees and whether the employer may make reasonable accommodation.

Opening on Christmas, A New Trend?

Last Thanksgiving, Walmart received a lot of press for opening early on Thanksgiving day, even though it was late in the day. There is probably not much difference between opening at 8 PM and 12 A.M. that same evening as did many other retailers. McDonald’s is also not the only fast food restaurant to stay open with some franchises like Jack In-the-Box doing it for years.

Some argue that these moves to open on holidays stems from the struggling economy and recession. It is not clear whether it is just the economy that is contributing to these types of decisions, but rather the change in culture or stigma of remaining open on such a holiday. There was a time when selling gas on Sunday was taboo.

A Fight for Unions

These kinds of moves among big box stores and fast food conglomerates has further drawn the attention of various trade unions. McDonald’s and Walmart obviously do not have union employees, but there is definitely a push to change that.  A business model which relies upon minimum wage workers may help convince employees who desire unionization to be scared off with the argument that the company would be unable to afford it and downsize accordingly.

Federal and state law guarantee the right to form unions. Nothing is automatic and there is a process, but from an employer perspective, unions due pose a significant threat to its bottom line. There are many legal ways that businesses can do to prevent unionization. Walmart is said to even have a hotline for its managers for tips on remaining union free in the event they hear of union organization among its workers.


Do Not Miss Important Business Legal Updates!

Join thousands of other business owners and receive up-to-date business legal updates straight into your electronic mailbox.

Other Articles You May Like:
  • How Subscription Model Pricing Is The Gift And The Curse [e228]

    October 07, 2015

    Nasir and Matt talk about JustFab's crazy valuation for a company that offers subscription based clothes.  They also get into topics of the evils of subscription model pricing and cancellation policies.

  • The Cost of Converting Independent Contractors to Employees

    October 06, 2015

    While Uber may be receiving the lion’s share of the attention on the topic, there has been no shortage of court rulings, IRS audits, and labor decisions on the issue of workforce misclassification. With a …

  • Why The Government Is Trying To Shutdown The Uber For Flights [e227]

    October 04, 2015

    The guys kick off the week by discussing why the Federal Aviation Administration shutdown a startup trying to be the Uber for flights and how the company is trying to fight back. Transcript: NASIR: Hello! Welcome. That’s …

  • Corporate Officer Liability at VW?

    October 01, 2015

    Yes, you could say that Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of Volkswagen, has had a couple of very bad weeks. Late in September, VW acknowledged that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide, including nearly 500,000 in …

  • How One Business Was Awarded Money From An Untrue Yelp Review [e226]

    September 30, 2015

    Nasir and Matt talk about a judge in New York awarding a business owner $1,000 as a result of a bad Yelp review left by a disgruntled customer.  They also discuss a recent lawsuit appeal …

  • Taking A Customer's Money When You Know You Can't Perform [e225]

    September 28, 2015

    The guys discuss a wedding venue that took deposits for weddings that were set for dates after the venue was going to close.  They also discuss return policies and good customer service. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our …

  • 10 Tips to Prevent Business Litigation

    September 24, 2015

    An ounce of prevention, as they say, is really just sound business practice. Litigation can be ruinously expensive and may force a business into liquidation. Even a “win” can devour the time and energy you need to …

  • Diversity, Employment Discrimination and Inclusion

    September 17, 2015

    Diversity in the workplace, a totally laudable goal, is actually harder to achieve than many employers appreciate, and ill-conceived or badly executed efforts can actually make things worse, opening the door to legal liability.  To …

  • Woman Challenges That Barbershops Are Only For Men [e224]

    September 16, 2015

    Nasir and Matt close out the week by talking about the woman that was refused a haircut at a barbershop because it was described as a men's only business. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover …

  • How Telecommuting Has Changed The Employee Landscape [e223]

    September 14, 2015

    Nasir and Matt discuss the rise of telecommuting in the workforce and relay some pros and cons for both employees and employers. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha, …