Proposal: Paying Triple Time to Thanksgiving Workers

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CLEVELAND-- Forget time-and-a-half or even double-time on the holiday because an Ohio lawmaker wants employers to pay a bigger price for making people work on Thanksgiving.

State Representative Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) is drafting a proposal that, if passed, would require stores to pay employees three times their hourly rate or allow them to take the day off without penalty on the holiday.

“For the people who have to work on those days, they should be compensated to a greater degree than they are regularly,” said Rep. Foley. “There’s just something deeply disturbing about having Black Friday, chaotic, blowout sales on Thanksgiving Day, the day that we’re all supposed to be hanging out with our family and giving thanks for all our blessings.”

The proposal covers a specific period of time, including all of Thanksgiving Day and the first 12 hours of Black Friday.

Retail supports 42 million jobs in America, according to the National Retail Federation.

But this is the first year that many retailers will be open early or around-the-clock on the holiday. That was the motivation for Foley, who said the meaning of the holiday is lost.

“I like it. They deserve it,” said Loveette Jackson from Cleveland. “They have to deal with the angry customers and the crowd and you know, once the store hour closes, they have to put all that stuff back that the people can’t pay for and stuff, so I like the triple!”

“Retailers will add hundreds of thousands of valuable jobs to the economy this holiday season, including extra staff for their distribution centers, store managers, e-commerce and mobile positions and helpful staff associates,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement to FOX 8 News. “Teenagers, college students and adults love working in retail during the holidays, especially with the perks of employee discounts and being the first to see what’s added to store shelves. Additionally, as we’ve heard from several companies, these holiday positions offer thousands of people the opportunity to turn seasonal employment into a long-term dynamic and thriving career opportunity.”

Some still question if those opportunities can take a break for just one day.

“No, I don’t think it's a good idea,” said a Willoughby resident. “There’s plenty of time to shop. We don’t need to do it on that day.”

To become law, the bill would first have to make it through the republican-controlled House of Representatives in Columbus.

It couldn’t pass in time to make a difference this year.

CLICK HERE for more Black Friday coverage.


  • Jillian

    It should apply to restaurants too. I work only one day a week regularly but I am required to work every single holiday. I have not had a family meal on a holiday since I started the job unfortunately we need the extra money right now hoping that will change when I finish school.

  • HelloLady

    This is the beginning of the end … I see a future of empty buildings and Walmart destroying communities. Internet is where to shop.

  • one.two.three.

    While I agree with this idea… I think it’s sad that nurses and health care workers have never been thought of before but retail workers are. Ironic that we don’t get a choice of working a holiday or not.

    • Kate

      I agree that nurses work hard and it is often a thankless job but hospitals have to be open, people will always be sick. Retail, however, does not need to be open and if they choose to open on Thanksgiving, they should have to pay a lot extra to employees. The stores will make a ton of money on that day. Let the employees choose to either be off or make more money. Better yet, just stay closed so everyone can enjoy a family day. That’s what the day is meant for, not big sales. It is pure greed. If they remain closed, people will just shop more the next day. I find it ironic that Walmart bills itself to be such a family oriented business but chooses not to allow families to spend the day together.

  • donna

    I will soon be spending my 21st Thanksgiving at work, it would be awesome not to have to work that day, we are made to work we have no choice, that is so wrong, Triple pay would be nice

  • Bev

    Are these people for real……be thankful you have a job….don’t want to work….there are many many people out there ready to take over and work…… thankful for what you have……honestly

    • diana

      I am thankful I have a job. There are only a few days you have off with pay. So why do should a person work on a day they get paid for in the first place?

  • Mike

    My wife works at Staples and they are opening at 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving. While our family dislikes it I have an issue with the government regulating private business like this. The only way for this to stop is the employees express their concerns to corp. or to quit their job. Another option would be for customers to not shop on these days. Although that would be a pipe dream in this self serving society we live in. So, working in the retail world this should be expected. If you don’t like it send a letter to corp. Have a petition spread throughout the stores or quit and find a job that is not open on holidays and/or talk to everyone you know and try to convince them to not shop on holidays. Remember why they call it black Friday.

  • Kristin

    My big issue is not with the businesses opening on thanksgiving (thats their choice) its the people who are lining up on thanksgiving for black friday. stay home with your family and enjoy time together then go out and line up . . .the lines are forming earlier and earlier, last year there was a line for black friday deals and a line for thursday deals . . . seriously people you CAN waltz in for some of those deals at 10 am and not have to camp out the night before . . . I dont go out until 10am every black friday and STILL get most if not all of the deals I am looking for :)

  • Jo Morris

    Triple pay is a good idea except that it would only lead to higher prices and companies letting more people go.

  • Michelle Kocsis

    I have worked in law enforcement, EMS and the medical field for my entire life and have had very few holidays off. Yes these professionals do get compensated for workig these hours (usually time and a half) but why does it seem that retail employees families are more important than those of public service and others who work the holidays? These employees work the holidays every year and never even get mentioned when it comes to not being able to spend time with their families but when a Wal-Mart employee has to work they should get paid double what the people who are risking and saving lives are making? Something is definitely wrong with our culture and it’s sad!

    • Maggie

      While I appreciate the frustration of those of you working in fields that require 24/7 coverage (I’ve been there myself), There is the knowledge beforehand that you are working a job that doesn’t stop just because it’s a holiday. My step-mother was a nurse and worked holidays much of the time but was paid double time and even double and a half at times. That’s double time at holiday pay, mind you.

      You say you don’t think people working at walmart should get paid double what people who are risking their lives while also saving lives make. I agree wholeheartedly. Don’t you worry though, because I guarantee you that the wages retail workers make aren’t even close to comparable to what medical and emergency personnel make. Most retail jobs are minimum wage and quite a number are not union so you can forget about holiday pay as it’s not required. Those that do pay holiday do so with limitations such as requiring their employees to be with the company at least a year, work an average of 30 hours a week, etc. To top it off, most retail employers do not offer benefits of any kind. I know that my current employer does not offer any kind of benefit for employees working less than 40 hours a week and the only ones allowed to work that many hours are management.

      While triple pay would be nice, even double pay would take the sting out of having to work a holiday catering to the hoards of retail schizoids.

      • Carmen

        lol what about the employees that got trampled to death on black friday? what about them? Are they not putting their lives on the line as well?

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