Does Saturday qualify as an official “work day?”

The labor agreement stated that employees must work "a full day on the scheduled working day before and after a holiday to be eligible for holiday pay.
By Raymond Dreyfack January 1, 1999

The labor agreement stated that employees must work “a full day on the scheduled working day before and after a holiday to be eligible for holiday pay.”

When Maintenance Department utility worker James Kutcher received his paycheck he made a beeline for Maintenance Supervisor Tom Handy’s desk.

“My check’s short,” he complained, “I wasn’t paid for Washington’s Birthday.”

Handy checked the record. “You weren’t eligible for holiday pay,” he explained. “According to the contract, to be eligible you have to work on days preceding and following the holiday. You took off on Saturday.”

“Saturday isn’t a regular working day.”

“Maybe not ordinarily. But when work is scheduled it becomes a regular working day.”

Kutcher disagreed and Handy promised to “check it out” with Plant Engineer Mel Golden.

Question: How do you feel about Kutcher’s eligibility?

Golden’s verdict: “Pay him for the holiday,” Golden instructed the supervisor. “In such disputes arbitrators tend to examine the exact wording of the contract. Our agreement defines the work week as consisting of 40 hr from Monday to Friday. Even though work is scheduled for Saturday it doesn’t qualify as a regular working day.”