Working on the holidays? You’re not alone

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Even if you don’t love spending all that much time with your family over the holidays, chances are you don’t want to spend that time working instead.

Yet 45% of employed Americans said there’s “at least some chance” they will work on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. And one in four said they have to clock in whether they want to or not, according to an Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll.

Chances are good, of course, that many of those required to work on Thanksgiving are employed by retailers.

With stores battling each other to see who can be first to offer those doorbuster deals to Black Friday shoppers — a growing number of workers are being called in to work on Thanksgiving Day.

This year, K-mart takes the dubious honor of earliest store opening, launching its Black Friday sales at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. And it plans to stay open for 42 hours straight, closing at 11:59 pm on Black Friday.

Employees and others have cried foul, with more than 5,500 people signing a petition on asking K-mart to “allow flexibility with scheduling to give their employees time to spend with their families,” among other things.

In response, K-mart told CNNMoney that “seasonal associates are told upon hire of our holiday store hours and we make every effort to accommodate associate shift requests during this time. Associate schedules are posted, on average, two weeks in advance — including for holiday schedules.”

Even beyond the holidays, many Americans feel they are making personal sacrifices for their jobs, with 47% saying they often work nights and weekends. And a very high percentage of people (81%) said they’re required to be in contact with work outside of business hours.

Even though poll respondents expressed overall satisfaction with their jobs, 76% of them said they “work to live.” And if they had their druthers, two in three people said they’d prefer “more flexibility and shorter hours” even if it meant getting paid less.

About that: Only 31% of those with jobs said they’re satisfied with their paycheck. As for benefits and perks, 43% said they’re very satisfied with their benefits, 45% are happy with the amount of paid vacation and sick leave that they get, and only 38% are very satisfied with their opportunities for promotion.

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1 Comment

  • Amy

    I work in an office and we are required to be open 365 days a year so holiday time off is a crap shoot. I’m greatful for my job but im totally dissatisfied with it. Grocery bill goes up and paycheck doesn’t. I had vacation day’s to use but I had no money to go anywhere but was told I had to use them. Sounds bratty and I should be glad I even have vacation time but I’m not. Guess I’m just to bitter.

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