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  #1  
Old 10-13-2005, 06:22 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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How do floating holidays usually work?

I'm going through my job's employee manual and I noticed that we get two floating holidays we can use, in addition to all major federal holidays. Sounds good, but it appears that wording suggests that we are only allowed to use the floating holidays for RELIGIOUS observances or our birthdays. I'm not sure if this is the case, I'll ask, but right I'd like to know how floating holidays are typically handled.

It seems a little unfair that those who are religious get an extra two days (or an extra day if you take your b-day off) while agnostics and atheists get shafted unless they lie.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2005, 06:35 AM
TellMeI'mNotCrazy TellMeI'mNotCrazy is offline
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That's definitely going to vary from one company to the next, but my most common experience has been that I was able to use the floating holiday whenever I wanted to. I've had some companies say that I couldn't tack it onto a vacation, or the Friday before a Monday holiday, that kind of thing, but others just said "Use it when you want it". I've never been to one that said it could only be used for religious observances or birthdays, though.

Is it possible to give us the wording out of the handbook?
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2005, 07:15 AM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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I am sure it can vary at different employers, but I have always seen it used like a vacation day. A floating holiday is different from a sick day because you have to ask and get approved for the day off ahead of time.

At my current job if you call in sick on the day before or after a holiday you lose your holiday pay, but if you arrange to use a vacation day or floating holiday you will still get the regular holiday pay. Since my company only wants a limited number of people off at one time it is first come first serve for people who want to use a floating holiday/vacation day on a certain day.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2005, 08:10 AM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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At my company, floating holidays are used like vacation days, though they do have to be taken within a few months of the holiday.

I would just select whatever day I wanted for the floating holiday and ask for it. If they press, say "It's religious, I don't choose to discuss my personal beliefs."
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2005, 08:16 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluiddruid
At my company, floating holidays are used like vacation days, though they do have to be taken within a few months of the holiday.

I would just select whatever day I wanted for the floating holiday and ask for it. If they press, say "It's religious, I don't choose to discuss my personal beliefs."

Any druidic holidays you can help me out with fluiddruid?
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2005, 08:31 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinthalis
Any druidic holidays you can help me out with fluiddruid?
Here you go
Quote:
It is recorded in various medieval Irish texts that the Celts celebrated four "fire festivals"--Samhain, Oimelc, Bealtaine, and Lughnassadh. Of these, Samhain, Bealtaine, and Lughnassadh are found in a number of Irish mythological texts (the various cycles), while Oimelc is refered to in Cormac's Glossary. They mark what we now consider November 1, February 2, May 1, and August 1, dividing the year into four quarters, and were considered the start of each season, so that November 1 (Samhain, "summer's end") was the first day of winter. This is reflected in the Welsh name for the day, Nos Galen-Gaeaf ("Night of the Winter Calends").

It is also thought that they likely celebrated the solstices and equinoxes, though these do not appear in the texts. However, they certainly survived in folk customs, as did the four "fire festivals." The solstices and equinoxes fell between the four quarters, and were given the designation of "mid" days--hense calling the winter solstice (the first day of winter) "Midwinter" and so on.
Daniel
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2005, 12:02 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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In our company, the only difference between a floating holiday and a vacation day is that floating holidays can't be carried over from one benefits year to the next, but you can carry over up to five vacation days. Thus "they" recommend that you use floating holidays for your first two days off in the benefits year, to make sure you don't forget them.

Other than that -- no difference.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2005, 12:11 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
In our company, the only difference between a floating holiday and a vacation day is that floating holidays can't be carried over from one benefits year to the next, but you can carry over up to five vacation days. Thus "they" recommend that you use floating holidays for your first two days off in the benefits year, to make sure you don't forget them.

Other than that -- no difference.
Same, except that we get to carry over a heck of a lot more vacation - I think we max accrual at something like ten weeks ( with enough seniority we accumulate five weeks a year, not counting vacation bank, comp time and the like, which used to counted seperately but now is just like regular vacation time ).

- Tamerlane
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2005, 01:46 PM
sciguy sciguy is offline
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As another piece of anecdotal evidence:

At my company, we get vacation days (certain # of vacation hours accrue each pay period, caps at 120 hours, doesn't reset with new year), holidays (set by the company), and two floating holidays. The floating holidays don't roll over, if you haven't used them both by the end of the year, you still only get two for the next year.

The floating holidays must be used for religious holidays (other than ones that are company holidays) or family birthday (you, spouse, significant other, or child).

When this policy was first implemented (originally, we got two "personal days" which could be used at any time) the running joke was that people would change their religion based on what days they wanted off.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2005, 02:21 PM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
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At our company, the only difference between vacation and floating holidays is that vacation is earned as the year goes on, and the floating holidays are not.

The practical effect of this is only felt when you leave or join the company. You get your full compliment of holidays for that year, but only a fraction of your vacation, relative to how many months you worked.
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2005, 03:45 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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For me, floating holidays only vary from vacation time slightly.

All employees get 2 floating holidays at the beginning of the year. They can not be carried over to the next year. They can be used for any darn thing you want, and can be used with vacation time. (example: you could take Monday and Tuesday as floaters, Wed-Friday vacation time).

Vacation time is accrued with each paycheck, and does not expire at the end of the calender year.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2005, 03:47 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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When we had them at our company, they pointed out clearly that floating holidays do not allow the user to float on air, and floating on water during a floating holiday is entirely optional.
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"You know what they say about sleeping dogs; you can't trust 'em." --Oliver Faltz
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2005, 04:40 PM
Skammer Skammer is online now
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I'll just jump in because the floating holiday (just one) at our company works differently -- we are a large, national company, and each individual office (not worker) gets to decide when to declare the floating holiday for that office. It's the same day every year, but not the same in each office.

For example, most offices assign the floating holiday to the day after Thanksgiving (which is otherwise a normal workday). Our Boston office, though, has declared Patriots Day their floating holiday and supposedly are open for business on the day after Thanksgiving (though it is a popular day for employees to use a vacation day).
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  #14  
Old 10-13-2005, 05:11 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy
The floating holidays must be used for religious holidays (other than ones that are company holidays) or family birthday (you, spouse, significant other, or child).
What are single atheists to do? Take off two days for their own birthday? That sounds like a needlessly stupid policy.
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2005, 05:38 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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My old company didn't care which one you used since they would not ask you what holiday it was, but they had to option to disallow certain days with reason.
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  #16  
Old 10-13-2005, 07:03 PM
doreen doreen is online now
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I work for a government agency. My union contract provides that we get a certain number of legal holidays (I think 12) off, but also allows the state to declare two as "floating holidays" - days on which the office is open and I earn a day of "Holiday leave" if I work. That holiday leave must be used within a year. We have all different types of leave, each with different rules regarding advance approval and reason to use the leave - sick leave, annual leave, personal leave, holiday leave, and two types of overtime leave . But read the manual carefully - there is a line in my agency's rules that if read quickly, might seem to say that personal leave should be taken only for religious holidays and personal emergencies. When read in context however, it turns out to mean something very different- not that personal leave can only be taken for these reasons, but rather that personal leave is the appropriate type of leave to take in these situations rather than sick leave, and that the personal leave rules regarding prior notice should be followed.
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  #17  
Old 10-13-2005, 11:37 PM
Mesquite-oh Mesquite-oh is offline
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At my agency, the term "floating holiday" refers to a specific day that you can choose to take off, as long as you let the agency know in advance that you are going to take that particular day off. If you choose to work on that specific day, you can use that day similar to a vacation day for any approved day within the next 30 days.

For example, Columbus day was a floating holiday. I chose to work because my child had to go to school anyway. I informed my agency that I was going to work, but I was going to take off Columbus day on 10-14. On my time-sheet, I will write "Off: Used Columbus Day" on 10-14.
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  #18  
Old 10-14-2005, 06:34 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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At my company they are just added to your vacation days and you can take them whenever you like. They are only called floating holidays for historical reasons because they were created by canceling two of the holidays we used to take but the employees preferred to have more flexibility.
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  #19  
Old 10-14-2005, 11:29 AM
sciguy sciguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3=
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy
The floating holidays must be used for religious holidays (other than ones that are company holidays) or family birthday (you, spouse, significant other, or child).
What are single atheists to do? Take off two days for their own birthday? That sounds like a needlessly stupid policy.
I forgot one category: other federal holidays not already designated as a company holiday. So Columbus Day, MLK, Veteren's Day, etc also qualify as valid floating holidays.
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  #20  
Old 10-14-2005, 02:21 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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When I worked for Western Electric, the distinction was that vacation days had to be scheduled well in advance (to keep the line staffed, etc.) but floating holidays could be used for emergencies and such and did not have to be scheduled in advance. Actually I worked at a research center, where there was effectively no difference.

I've also seen floating holdays used to cover things like the day after Thanksgiving, or the day before or after Christmas if there would be one day between Christmas and a weekend.

When I left, it turned out that I got paid for vacation days I didn't use, but not floating holidays I didn't use.
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  #21  
Old 10-14-2005, 04:45 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is online now
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You could take off the entire month of October to celebrate Ramendan...
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