Thanksgiving Should Be A Holiday For All

Which companies are giving their employees a break, and which aren't.

Which Companies Are Giving Their Employees A Break, And Which Aren’t

Thanksgiving is a time for family, great food, and relaxing with your loved ones after the tryptophan from the turkey kicks in. But unfortunately, not all Americans get to relax on the holiday. Retail workers across the country will have to work—and many have no choice in the matter. There is no mandatory paid vacation in the United States, meaning that employees could be threatened with firings if they choose to take time off to spend with their families. Some brands, like Kmart, refused to make accommodations for employees’ holiday schedules. Last year, Target threatened to fire employees who took off for Thanksgiving. The requirement to work on Thanksgiving particularly impacts low-income workers, like those in retail, who are less likely to be offered paid holiday and vacation time they could use to take the day off anyway. Additionally, there is little evidence that forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving does little for the company’s bottom line. Last year’s numbers show that shoppers simply shifted purchases they would have made on Black Friday to Thanksgiving, with no net increase.

Kmart and Target are not alone in making employees work on Thanksgiving—there are a number of stores that plan to stay open on Thanksgiving.


However, there are some retail brands that are planning to let their employees spend Thanksgiving with their families. Staples, which was open last year, decided to close on Thanksgiving this year. REI went even further by keeping its doors closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, giving employees paid vacation to enjoy the outdoors. If you plan to shop on Black Friday, check out the graphic below to see which companies are treating their workers fairly this Thanksgiving.


BOTTOM LINE: All workers should have the right to choose to spend time with their family on Thanksgiving and during the holiday season. If you’re shopping on Black Friday, support the businesses that give everyone a holiday.

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