Federal Rules for Summer and Vacation Hires

  • Obtain W-4s from all summer employees, even the owners’ children, students working part-time and foreign students.

 

  • Withhold FITW from all employees, including the owner’s spouse/children, unless a W-4 claims exempt.

 

  • Withhold FICA from all employees, even high school students and those who receive SS benefits. Exception: Employees under 18 working for sole-owner parents.

 

  • Pay overtime for hours actually worked over 40 hours in the workweek. You are not required to include as hours worked paid time off (holidays, vacation days). Do not substitute paid nonwork hours for work hours to make all hours straight time, thus avoiding overtime pay.

 

Example: Julia works 12 hours a day the first 4 days of the workweek, but not on the 5th day, a holiday, for which she is paid for 8 hours. She is correctly paid 40 hours’ straight time + 8 hours’ overtime + 8 holiday (nonwork) hours. Julia’s employer cannot substitute the 8 hours’ holiday pay for the 8 hours’ overtime to avoid paying the overtime rate.

 

Paid holidays and vacations

  • Under federal law, paid holidays for part-time and summer help are always optional, but check state laws.
  • No paid vacation is required—but if you provide paid vacation, some federal and state laws apply.

 

Benefits

  • Temps and part-timers. Benefits are optional, but if offered, should be explained in a written benefits plan.

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