Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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It's counter-intuitive, but yes this is legal. It's legal because employers have no obligation to offer any paid holidays at all. Since they are not legally required to offer paid holidays, they can decide to pay however much they choose for those days. An employee cannot sue to recover something they are not legally entitled to.
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Unfortunately, no, such a legal theory would not be successful for a few different reasons, the most fundamental being that the terms of employment are always subject to being changed at any time. So, even if you could argue that payment for all scheduled hours was "implied" (and I think that would be very difficult to establish), your employer could change their mind at any time. They are still giving you something you are not entitled to--compensation for hours that you didn't work--and so there is no way to sue them to compel them to pay you more. I am sorry but I hope this clarifies the issue for you so that you can move forward. I can understand how this is frustrating.
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