EDITORIAL: We should really start celebrating laborers on Labor Day

Staff Editorial

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When people think of Labor Day, most remember days spent with family and friends, cooking out and hanging out.

That is what the long weekend is all about, right? Not for some people.

Forty-one percent of businesses require some of their staff members to work on Labor Day, according to a 2015 Bloomberg BNA study. How ironic is that?

We at The Daily Eastern News think businesses should consider forgoing Labor Day sales and just give their employees the day off.

Sure, there are a lot of good sale opportunities going on around this time each year, but somebody has to be working in order for people to take advantage of those good deals.

It goes against the purpose of Labor Day to have employees work for the purpose of sales on a day that so many other people in the country are not.

Labor Day was established as a federal holiday to pay tribute to the contributions of American workers, so how does forcing them to work on Labor Day celebrate anything?

Federal law does not require employers to additionally compensate employees for their time on federal holidays, so while some workers may enjoy the benefits of a time and a half wage, not every worker gets that.

Additionally, employees who do not see that time and a half wage typically are working at lower paying jobs.

Plus, there are plenty of other sale opportunities throughout the year, so businesses do not have to rely on this specific day for their profit.

Not to mention it is one day out of 365 – sometimes 366 – days each year.

There is the argument that most people will be off work, so it is a good time to have a sale for people to take advantage of, but just because people are off work does not necessarily mean they will be going shopping.

We at The Daily Eastern News do not think people who take advantage of the sale opportunities are doing anything wrong.

We just want people to think about how hypocritical it is of some major businesses and corporations to use Labor Day as a means to profit off of laborers when the purpose of the holiday is to celebrate them.

Perhaps businesses can have their Labor Day sales the weekend of the holiday and still give everyone the day off on the actual holiday.

Or maybe consider giving their employees extra benefits to make them feel appreciated for their work.