U.S. Space & Rocket Center employees sue for unpaid Alabama Holidays
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Three employees of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center are suing the tourist attraction. The employees say the center has made them work Alabama state holidays for decades.
Some of those holidays include Robert E. Lee’s birthday, Confederate Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis’ birthday, George Washington’s birthday, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday and American Indian Heritage Day.
The lawsuit currently lists only three employees but states there is the potential for more to be added later as part of a class-action lawsuit.
The suit states that because the center has not complied with paid state holiday regulations it has “deprived USS&RC employees of benefits they should have otherwise received.”
The suit also alleges, as is reported in a January state audit, that the Space & Rocket Center did not provide full “longevity” bonuses each December as state law requires for state employees.
The attorneys say the audit states, “The Commission provides 6 fewer holidays to its employees than are mandated by state law.”
The lawsuit demands the center award to its employees the holidays provided by the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 1-3-8(a). The audit also says the Center had miscalculated longevity payments and should recalculate and pay employees “the total amount of all underpayments.”
The full list of state holidays is listed below.
Alabama Code on state holidays
(a) Sunday, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Robert E. Lee’s birthday, George Washington’s birthday, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, Confederate Memorial Day, National Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis’ birthday, the Fourth day of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Fraternal Day, Veterans’ Day, American Indian Heritage Day, and the day designated by the Governor for public thanksgiving shall each be deemed a holiday. If any holiday falls on Sunday, the following day is the holiday. If any holiday falls on Saturday, the preceding day is the holiday….
(b) Of the above enumerated legal public holidays, the following shall be observed on the dates herein prescribed:
(1) Robert E. Lee’s birthday – the third Monday in January.
(2) George Washington’s birthday – the third Monday in February.
(3) Confederate Memorial Day – the fourth Monday in April.
(4) Jefferson Davis’ birthday – the first Monday in June.
(5) Columbus Day and Fraternal Day – the second Monday in October.
(6) Veterans’ Day – the eleventh day of November.
(7) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday – the third Monday in January.
(8) National Memorial Day – the last Monday in May.
(9) Thomas Jefferson’s birthday – the third Monday in February.
(10) American Indian Heritage Day – the second Monday in October.
(c) In addition to the legal holidays provided above, Mardi Gras shall be deemed a holiday in Mobile and Baldwin Counties and all state offices shall be closed in those counties on Mardi Gras.
(d) In addition to the legal holidays provided above all state employees, except those employed in Baldwin and Mobile Counties, shall be granted one personal leave day per year …. All state employees employed in Baldwin and Mobile Counties shall be granted no personal leave day.