Changes to Holidays

Less than 50 employees, Majority of employees in state of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />California, with 3-4 in Florida.

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Our handbook notes that employees receive 7 holidays a year and specifies those, including New Year’s Day. We also offer two floating holidays which may be designated by the company when setting each year’s holiday calendar. Also states holidays falling on Saturday will generally be observed Friday, those on Sunday generally observed Monday.


While I understand that the holidays are not mandatory in CA, they are outlined in the handbook and offered as one of our benefits.


An email was sent out today from FL corp. noting the 2010 holidays, and designating the two floating holidays. It is their intent to designate each year’s floating holiday’s moving forward. Our handbook states these may be days designated by management,


The 2010 calendar ends with designating Friday, December 31, 2010 as a holiday. Based on the total count this was designated as a “floating holiday”.


It was then brought to me by a number of employees as to whether or not Monday, January 3, 2011 would then be our “New Year’s Holiday” for 2011. Otherwise, they were concerned that for 2010 they were short a day. I.E. Friday counted for a floating in 2010 and a designated holiday in 2011 – counted twice.


I brought this up and was told that Monday Jan 3, 2011 would be a business day but that the total for the year would remain 7 holidays + 2 floating. A subsequent email was sent to employees saying this.  And that 2011 dates would be provided later next year. So although New Year’s is designated in our handbook, that day would be used instead say for a previously not-celebrated holiday such as Martin Luther King day.


I believe we are within our rights to change I think. So I’m looking for help on confirming that and also concerned about whether or not this needed to be handled differently- the boss’ take is that email is the official amendment to the handbook. I can handle the change but think its appropriate for morale to provide advance notice and try to do it right but I’m not sure what is the correct way.


Comments, direction, etc helpful.


  • 1 Comment sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Private employers are not obligated to provide any holidays, so there is a lot of discretion here. Your company can change the holidays, but, as you say, the best practice is to give employees advance notice and to have them sign an acknowledgement of the changes to your handbook.  Also, be careful, and make sure that your handbook contains a disclaimer stating that nothing in it constitutes a contract and that management reserves the right to change policies.  Otherwise, you may find some employees arguing they had a contractual right to earlier holiday schedule.
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