While the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn't mandate that companies pay their employees for time not spent working (including vacations, sick leave, or federal or other holidays) most companies today realize that time off is an expected benefit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 77% of American workers in the private sector receive some amount of paid vacation each year. 

But what happens when a holiday coincides with a weekend? WBA took to the streets (i.e. emailed the WBA Human Resources Committee) to find out!

In 2020, Independence Day (typically a day workers receive paid vacation time) falls on a Saturday. While some front-line bank employees may typically work Saturday hours, most staff do not. While every bank WBA spoke with will be closed for business on Saturday, July 4, their approaches to holiday pay/time off varied slightly. The most popular option for the bank was to offer a floating holiday for staff to use anytime during that fiscal year. For other weekend holidays, many of the banks providing input for this article shift the holiday to either Friday or Monday—whichever day is the closest business day to the holiday—and offer paid time off. 

It's also important to consider the bank's part-time employees when determining holiday pay benefits. Talent is difficult to attract and retain today, and that includes part-time workers. Providing some comparable benefits for holiday pay and/or time off can set your institution apart from the field of employers.

When deciding which holidays to recognize (either by closing the branch or offering paid time off), several members of the WBA Human Resources Committee advised turning to the community. For example, if your local post office is closed, it's appropriate for the bank to be as well. Observance of some holidays varies from community to community. For example, most businesses in your town may close for Veteran's Day, while in the city 100 miles away most don't observe it as a holiday. 

Whatever the bank decides is best, communication is key—both with customers and staff. The best channels to use to inform customers and staff about bank holidays depends on your brand and culture. Some of the institutions surveyed rely on internal email and intranet documents or employee handbooks for staff, while others use tools such as Yammer to get the word out to all staff. 

For customers, many banks post holiday closures on their websites and place signs in drive-through windows; others also post via social media or in newsletters. (This is a great time to involve your marketing department!) You know your customers and your employees best. Communicate with them over the channel they prefer. 

Thank you to the following WBA Human Resources Committee Members for providing input for this article:

  • Molly Bauer – Bank of Wisconsin Dells 
  • Karla Dickson – Security Financial Bank, Bloomer
  • Robin Hegg – IncredibleBank, Wausau 
  • Ann Knutson – First Bank Financial Centre
  • Joan Mulrine – State Bank Financial, La Crosse 
  • Gwen Schnitzler – Forward Bank, Marshfield
  • Cathy Yanke – Bank of Prairie du Sac

Can't get enough HR? Here are 3 ideas for you:

  1. Join your banking human resources peers at the WBA HR Conference on April 7 in Wisconsin Dells! Visit www.wisbank.com/HR2020 for more information and to register online. 
  2. Find more information about holiday pay and other benefits in the annual Wisconsin Banking Industry Compensation & Benefits Report.
  3. Interested in joining the WBA HR Committee, or one of the association's other volunteer groups? Visit www.wisbank.com/community/get-involved for more information.