With Black Friday just around the corner, two Ohio lawmakers are fighting to ensure the retail shopping extravaganza does not wreak havoc on families’ traditional Thanksgiving values. State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and State Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) Wednesday spoke in support of their bill that would shift the focus of the holiday back to spending time with family and loved ones.
“Doorbuster deals should never take precedent over our traditional holiday celebration of spending time with family and loved ones,” said Rep. Foley. “The Thanksgiving holiday has devolved in to a mess of consumerism and hollow capitalism that places corporate profit motives over traditional morals and family values.”
House Bill 360, introduced last holiday season, requires retailers that open on Thanksgiving to allow their employees to remain at home for the holiday without experiencing any adverse effect on their wages, hours or employment conditions. If an employee chooses to work on Thanksgiving, that employee would be paid three times their normal wage. This wage increase would also extend to employees that work on Black Friday, if the retail establishment is open earlier than their regular hours.
“Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a holiday when Ohioans look forward to visiting friends and relatives, having a meal and enjoying a day off– not rising at the crack of dawn to deal with long lines of irritated customers,” said Rep. Hagan. “This bill would go a long way to ensure that workers who are sacrificing time away from their families to work the madness of the holiday rush are properly compensated.”
Last fall’s news that Macy’s—the annual sponsor of the Thanksgiving Day parade since 1924—would open on the holiday marked the unprecedented start of Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day. While 2013 saw retailers that used to open exclusively on Black Friday open their doors on Thanksgiving Day, this holiday season will bring even more stores into the fray. Major retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving include:
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