2-day Thanksgiving holiday now the norm

Day after Thanksgiving holidays

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Thanksgiving Thursday is a national holiday, of course, but business owners have made the day after an unofficial one — seven out of 10 American employees will get the day off.

That’s according to a late-October survey of 294 human resource and employee relations executives in both the public and private sector by business publisher BNA.

Employees at 70 percent of the companies surveyed will get Thanksgiving and the next day off with pay, the survey found. That figure is almost unchanged from 1999 (68 percent) and 1998 (71 percent). Almost all organizations (97 percent) are scheduling Thanksgiving as a paid holiday, though about half (48 percent) will require at least a few employees to show up on Turkey Day.

Almost all (97 percent) of the manufacturers surveyed plan to keep the production lines closed the day after Thanksgiving, compared with 63 percent of nonmanufacturing firms and 56 percent of nonbusiness establishments such as hospitals, schools and municipalities.

Who’s least likely to get a dual holiday? Only 14 percent of health care workers are likely to get both days. Most likely are workers in other nonbusiness organizations and municipalities (68 percent), and educational institutions (88 percent).

If you need to talk to a worker on the day after Thanksgiving, try a bank or retail store, the survey found. None of the financial institutions surveyed will offer a two-day holiday, and only a quarter of retail stores will give their workers a break before the holiday shopping season hits. But 80 percent of utilities and all the insurance companies surveyed will have both days off.

Some workers won’t even get Thanksgiving Day off, the survey found. Almost a quarter (24 percent) of responding employers plan on requiring holiday work of service, maintenance and public service staff. Municipalities (95 percent), utilities (91 percent), health-care establishments (89 percent) and transportation companies (86 percent) will require some workers to work on the holiday.

Compensation for working the holiday is usually extra pay, such as double time or time-and-a-half. Compensatory time off is less common than premium pay.

What’s your business’s Thanksgiving holiday policy?