Should Retailers Force Their Employees to Work on Thanksgiving Day?

'Black Friday Creep' is spurring several online petitions to save Thanksgiving as retailers keep pushing opening hours into turkey day, making their employees go to work that evening.


Who wants to eat Thanksgiving dinner and rush out of the house to go to work at a retail store on Thanksgiving evening?

The trend for stores to open earlier and earlier to take advantage of Black Friday sales—even to the point of opening on Thanksgiving Day—has prompted an online petition drive to give Thanksgiving back to employees and their families.

The original petition was reportedly created by a Target employee upset that the retail giant is opening on Thanksgiving and requiring employees to work instead of spending time with their families.

Target stores will open their doors at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Now, there are more than 194,945 signatures on the petition.

Click here to check out the petition.

A press release from Change.org reported that they have seen dozens of new petitions pop up about Black Friday hours.

"Following a Sears announcement last week that the company would open store doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, Change.org users launched more than 40 new petitions calling on retailers to allow families to spend Thanksgiving together and stick to Black Friday opening times," the press release stated.

Following are just a few of the comments from creators and signers of the petitions:

  • “My wife works for Sears as a lead and they are forcing her to work two 12 hour shifts in a 30 hour period. She will have no time before or after the holiday to spend with family. This goes out to all employees in the same position.” Matthew Frankowski, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
  • “I've worked retail for 12 years but have never had to work Thanksgiving until this year. My family would not understand or believe it!” Paul Kessler, a Sears employee from Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
  • “Retail employees should be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.  Give them the day off.  They will work their tails off for you for the next month.  They deserve Turkey Day with family and friends!” Jennifer Dianovsky, Chicago.
  • “I, as a responsible consumer and retail employee, have never, nor will I ever, shop at a store that is open on holidays. If it is so important for your bottom line then all the corporate big shots should give up their holiday with their families and go in and open and work those stores on those hours.” Roxanne DeRosa, Naperville, IL.

The New York Daily News reported that "copycat" petitions have also been created asking Macy’s, Best Buy, Old Navy and Kohl’s to reconsider their plans to open at midnight on Thanksgiving.

Here are just some of the more than 40 trending “Save Thanksgiving” petitions on Change.org:

Bob Torcello November 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM
No they not only should not force their employees to work on Thanksgiving but should not be open. People should be home with their families. Also I don't believe sales increase as people are shopping for "x" number of presents and having one more or less day to do so, doesn't change the number of purchases they need to make.
Jane Scully Welch November 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM
No...they should not even be open...can we not just be left to celebrate these holidays...as Thanksgiving and Christmas ....as family time and if so desired spiritual time. Some things are just far more important than shopping!!!! I agree with both the above comments...and we really should boycott!!!!
Stan November 15, 2012 at 03:36 PM
NO stores should be open on Thanksgiving, and no worker's livelihood should be threatened by greedy store owners/bosses who insist they work. Everybody better sign EVERY petition that's out there. Boycotting is not enough on its own, but it's a place to start. This trend will not go away until we take a powerful stand against it!
judy casale November 15, 2012 at 04:20 PM
i think thats horrible for these stores to require these people to work at the risk of losing their jobs,that we know ,they are workingbe cause they need the money for their families,especially for the holidays, .greed is an awful employer !
Tom Riccio November 16, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Fellow citizens, We get what you've voted for. The creep of commercialism is tied directly to the quick degradation of blue laws over the past 30 years whiich are derived from our founding fathers religious beliefs. Why is it ok to be open on Sunday at all or sell liqour on Sunday...for convenience many say. So why not be open on holidays also? Voters who have approved this slippery slope cannot have it both ways. There are consequences for all actions.I myself are crazed by the encroachment of organized sports into Sunday, especially in the morning. Totally disrespectful for those families who attend religious services or education classes or who plan other family functions.


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