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Build Your Career Office Life

Labor Day Not a Labor-Free Day for All Workers

Labor Day Not a Labor-Free Day for All Workers Credit: Open for business image via Shutterstock

Many workers will have to settle for a pat on the back, rather than a relaxing day off, this Labor Day, new research shows.

A study by Bloomberg BNA revealed that although nearly all employers will give Labor Day — created to honor the American worker — as a paid holiday, close to 40 percent will require at least some employees trudge into work.

The research found that larger companies — those with more than 1,000 employees — were twice as likely as their smaller counterparts to require at least some employees report to work on the holiday.

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September, is one of 10 official federal U.S. holidays. The holiday has its origins in the late 1880s, when trade unions organized the first Labor Day parades and picnics. It first became a federal holiday in 1894.

"In today's workplace, employers in the nonbusiness sector are about twice as likely to require some workers to toil on Labor Day than are manufacturers or nonmanufacturing businesses," said Matthew Sottong, director of surveys for Bloomberg BNA.

Specifically, the study shows that that 61 percent of nonbusiness establishments — which include health care, government, education, membership and social services, and religious organizations — require some employees to work on Labor Day, compared with 32 percent of nonmanufacturing firms and 30 percent of manufacturers

Those employees who do have to work on Labor Day shouldn't expect any type of workplace celebrations to commemorate the holiday. The research discovered that only 4 percent of employers overall sponsor Labor Day events or activities, compared with 28 percent who hold Christmas parties, 14 percent who host Thanksgiving celebrations and 11 percent who host Veterans Day events.

The study was based on surveys of more than 500 human resource professionals from around the United States representing a variety of industry sectors.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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