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Stores should not require employees to work on Thanksgiving Day

November 22, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
Some people have always had to work on Thanksgiving: emergency personnel like police officers and firefighters, doctors and nurses and EMTs.

Sometimes newspaper reporters have to work on Thanksgiving too, which is why I am sitting here in the Minot Daily News office instead of eating dinner with my family, as I would have liked to do. If news reporters (and copy editors and press people and paper carriers, etc.) didn't work on Thanksgiving, you wouldn't get your paper tomorrow.

But there's a difference between "necessary" and "unnecessary" work on a holiday and I think it is completely unnecessary for stores to be open on Thanksgiving afternoon or Thanksgiving night. Big department stores have pushed back their Black Friday blowout to Thanksgiving night, which means scores of employees all over the country are not able to spend today with their families.

North Dakota had a blue law in effect until I was in college that meant most stores were not open on Sundays or holidays. Grocery stores and gas stations and movie theaters usually were for at least some of the day, but other places were not. I think it was better then, though I like the convenience of shopping on a Sunday.

Back then more attention was paid to the quality of life of all people who live here, not just those who want to make more money or people who want to be able to shop every day of the week.

No one should be working today if they don't absolutely have to.


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