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Working on Thanksgiving? You're Not Alone

turkey dinner, thanksgiving
40% of Americans will be working on Thanksgiving. / Credit: Turkey image via Shutterstock

Employees of big box retailers like Walmart and Target aren't the only ones who will be clocking in on Thanksgiving, a new study finds.

Research from Bloomberg BNA revealed that nearly 40 percent of businesses will require at least some employees to work on Thursday's national holiday. Specifically, workers in health care facilities, municipalities and other nonbusiness establishments are far more likely to draw Thanksgiving shifts than are their counterparts in other industry sectors. More than 60 percent of responding nonbusiness organizations will have at least a few employees on the job on Nov. 28, compared with barely a quarter of both manufacturers and nonmanufacturing businesses.

While the number of employees working on Thanksgiving is up from the previous three years, it is lower than 13 years ago, when 48 percent of workers had to clock in.

[The Happiest Jobs in America]

"Even for the 97 percent of employers who designate Thanksgiving as a paid day off, a significant portion plan to keep some lights on in the workplace, requiring at least a few to work on the holiday," said Matt Sottong, director of surveys and research reports for Bloomberg BNA. "Still, workers who must miss or delay Thanksgiving dinner typically are rewarded, as most survey respondents reported that their employees will receive extra compensation — overtime [pay], compensatory time off or both — for working holiday shifts."

The study found that more than half of the employers surveyed will pay employees either time-and-a-half or double-time for working on Thanksgiving. Only 11 percent will exclusively provide regular compensation for toiling on the national holiday, with just 4 percent offering only compensatory time off in addition to the employees' regular pay.

Employees working at small businesses have the best chance to get both Thanksgiving and the day after off. More than three-quarters of the surveyed organizations that had fewer than 1,000 workers have slated paid holidays for both Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday this year, while just over three-fifths of larger employers will be so generous.

The study was based on surveys of 494 organizations representing a cross-section of U.S. employers.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

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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