Ohio Dem seeks to legislate triple pay for retail workers on holidays

Hi. I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

Nobody likes working on the holidays. I’ve had to do it myself back in the day (and I wasn’t even in retail) and it’s no fun. But at least in Ohio, workers who do get called in on Thanksgiving may be cashing in big if some Democrats get their way. It seems that if retailers need their employees to work on Thanksgiving (or other holidays) the state may force them to triple their wages.

A lawmaker in Ohio wants stores in the state to pay triple wages for employees who work on Thanksgiving ? an effort that comes as Macy’s, the holiday’s quintessential retailer, is allowing its workers to choose whether to work that day.

Both are attempts to counter frustration among workers and their families over holiday store hours that have expanded into the holiday.

State Rep. Mike Foley, a Democrat from Cleveland, said his bill would allow employees to bow out of the holiday shift without job sanctions while protecting family time from excessive consumerism.

It comes after a federal complaint filed earlier this year accused Wal-Mart of illegally firing, disciplining or threatening more than 60 employees in 14 states for participating in protests over wages and working conditions…

Foley said the idea for his bill came from a call last year from a Cincinnati woman who said both she and her 82-year-old mother had been scheduled to work their retail jobs on Thanksgiving.

“I was offended by it,” he said. “Can’t there be one day that’s carved out of this consumerist, materialistic society we’re living in?”

This is actually a totally separate issue from the federal minimum wage fight, though some will obviously try to conflate the two. This is a move to have the state government reach far deeper into the day to day operations of businesses and micromanage their personnel policies. The proposed legislation would apply to not only specific days and times, but only a single sector of the workforce. Businesses of all kinds have to decide when and how to offer their products and services in a way which still produces a profit. (There’s that nasty P word again, though progressives hate to hear it. It’s still a requirement to sustain private enterprise.)

But what about everyone else who has to work on Thanksgiving? Hospitals and emergency rooms are open. The military is on duty. Cops have to work. Snowplows have to run in many areas (including private operators) and cars need to be towed. Will the government mandate triple pay for all of those workers as well, or shall we just shut those services down?

Some jobs come with an expectation that you may have to work on the holidays. If that is too great a cross to bear, you need to look for a new line of work.