My employer requires two weeks notice to resign. I handed in my letter on Monday, April 8th, with an effective date of Friday, April 19th, which happens to fall on a stat holiday. HR is telling me I will not be paid for the statutory holiday (holiday established by law) and that my benefits will end on the 18th. She has asked me to change my letter and resubmit it. Can they do this?
The can ask you to do whatever they want. You can politely decline. If you want your last day to be the 19th then that is your decision. If they want your last date to be a different date to avoid having to pay you then they can fire you. Since you are leaving the company regardless of what happens I would not worry about it and would definitely not change your resignation date.
They cannot force you and they want to get around paying you for the holiday. If your last day is effectively a holiday, they have to pay.
If you are having a special agreement for quitting earlier, then you should adjust the leave date not the submission date.
I'm assuming you would normally be paid for holidays and I don't know any country where you would be paid differently during your notice period compared to before.
As we do not know the country, but people ask for sources. Here is an example of paid holidays in Germany
It says the employer has to pay the employee for working hours which fall onto a holiday.
If you last day falls on a holiday and the company pays its employees for this holiday, then they must pay you by law. If they do not want to pay you, then they will need to fire you sooner. That is why they want YOU to change YOUR last day on YOUR resignation letter.
This is fact as I had to sue my employer for back pay regarding exact same scenario. And won. Cheap bastards is what your employer is.