The Holidays aren’t all Fun and Games for Many American Workers

Grace Tague, Reporter

Every year somebody ends up working on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. According to USA TODAY, a quarter of Americans will work over the holidays. You would think the only people working on holidays would be retail employees, but even if you don’t work in retail you could still end up working.

The holiday shopping season is hectic and crowded. It can be very stressful for both employees and shoppers. Some employees can’t even request to have Thanksgiving off or any holidays during the holiday season. K Mart was one store that refused to allow employees to have Thanksgiving off.

This year, K Mart said if the employees refuse to go to work on Thanksgiving, they will be fired. K Mart was open for a total of 42 hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Julian Fisher, whose mother works at K Mart, started a petition on the website She protested against working on the holidays. Jeanne Sahadi wrote an article on CNN Money called “Working over the holidays? Join the crowd.” Her article stated that K Mart responded to the petition by saying that before they hire their employees, they inform them on the holiday schedule. Schedules are posted two weeks in advance.

Hadley Malcolm from USA TODAY stated in her article “Quarter of Americans will Work Over Holidays” that other employees who don’t work in retail, like Andrew Bishop, a “correctional officer, will report for duty at a Milwaukee prison for his usual 10 p.m.-6 a.m. shift on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.” News anchors also struggle with getting off for holidays and most likely will have to work. For example, Rachel Barnhart, an anchor at WROC-TV in Rochester, N.Y., says she has worked most holidays since she became a news reporter 16 years ago. This year she had Thanksgiving off (Malcolm).

Unfortunately, working over the holidays has become a normal routine for many employees and chances are it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Really, who will volunteer to work over the holidays? Hopefully over time, businesses and companies will close over the holidays and jobs that need to stay open will have different employees working each year and it wont be the same workers each holiday season.