The U.S. Labor Department is reminding employers to protect worker safety and pay during the holiday season.

The nation is entering a unique holiday season and employers must train their workers to recognize and prevent job hazards, including safe work practices to prevent exposure to the coronavirus, OSHA and DOL said in a joint statement.

At the same time, employers must also ensure they understand and comply with federal rules governing the payment of wages for temporary or seasonal workers.

“Throughout the holiday season, all employees, including seasonal workers, should be trained not only on how to perform their jobs safely, but also on how to stay safe from the coronavirus,” said Loren Sweatt, OSHA's principal deputy assistant secretary of labor.

“Every worker deserves a safe and healthful workplace, whether they are packing boxes, stocking shelves, delivering products, or selling merchandise.”


OSHA offers resources on holiday workplace safety for warehousing, delivery and retail workers

Guidance is also available for protecting workers from exposure to the coronavirus in retail and high customer-volume environments, stockrooms and loading docks, and package delivery.

Additional information is available on workers’ rights, the protection of temporary and seasonal workers, as well as safety for young workers.

The agencies remind employers that temporary or seasonal employees hired to provide additional help have the right to a safe and healthful workplace—and to be paid for the work performed.

Employees unfamiliar with working in seasonal positions and employers unaccustomed to hiring part-time and/or seasonal employees may not be fully aware of the rules that regulate such work.

“While retail employees work hard during the holiday season to serve shoppers and help the economy thrive, they have bills to pay. We need to ensure workers are paid their rightful wages,” said Wage and Hour Division administrator Cheryl Stanton.

“With more temporary and part-time workers employed during the holidays, it’s important that we inform these workers and their employers about rules concerning work hours, wages and employment conditions, including their rights to paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

Common Violations

The division enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Common holiday season labor violations include:

  • Failing to pay salespeople and cashiers for time spent preparing for closing out a register
  • Requiring stock room and warehouse personnel to work through breaks without compensation
  • Not providing overtime pay to employees working more than 40 hours in a workweek

Here is the labor Department’s take on seasonal employment.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery at 860.244.1982.