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Holiday Pay on Thanksgiving: What Illinois Employees Need to Know

November 16, 2023

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a common question for employees in Illinois: “Does my employer have to give me Thanksgiving Day off as a holiday?”

Let’s explore the ins and outs of your rights and entitlements under Illinois law.

Understanding Your Work Obligations on Thanksgiving Day: While many employees look forward to spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, Illinois law does not mandate that employers must grant a day off on Thanksgiving. The decision to provide time off on this holiday is typically at the discretion of the employer. Therefore, it’s crucial for employees to be aware of their company’s policies and communicate with their supervisors regarding holiday schedules.

Compensation for Working on Thanksgiving: If you find yourself working on Thanksgiving Day, you may wonder if you are entitled to additional pay. Under Illinois law, there is no specific requirement for employers to pay extra wages for working on holidays, including Thanksgiving. However, some employers may choose to offer holiday pay or premium pay as part of their company policies. It’s essential to review your employment contract and company handbook for information on compensation for holiday work.

Understanding Holiday Pay: Illinois law does not mandate that employers provide holiday pay for time not worked. Whether you receive holiday pay for Thanksgiving Day off depends on your employer’s policies. Some employers choose to offer paid holidays as a benefit, while others may require employees to use accrued paid time off (PTO) or vacation days for the time off.

To ensure you have accurate information about your rights and entitlements on Thanksgiving Day, it’s crucial to communicate openly with your employer. Review your employment contract, company handbook, or any policies provided by your employer. If you have questions or concerns about your holiday pay or time off, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your supervisor or human resources department.

While Illinois law does not mandate Thanksgiving Day off or specific holiday pay requirements, it’s essential for employees to understand their rights within the context of their employment agreement and company policies. Open communication with your employer is key to addressing any concerns and ensuring a clear understanding of expectations during the holiday season.

Every workplace is unique, so familiarizing yourself with your company’s specific policies will empower you to make informed decisions about your Thanksgiving Day plans.

*This post is not legal advice.  For more information, visit *

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