Conn. lawmakers try to pass legislation banning stores opening on Thanksgiving

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This year, big retailers are opening their doors earlier than ever, and it’s not sitting well with Connecticut lawmakers who call the move “disgraceful.”

Several legislators gathered to speak out against the Thanksgiving openings.

State Rep. Matthew Lesser said he will re-introduce legislation this upcoming session that would require employers pay their employees double time and a half if they work on Thanksgiving.

“Just last week, it was revealed the Kmart Corporation is requiring its staff to come in at 6 a.m., on Thanksgiving Day, and many of those workings are not going to be receiving overtime,” said Lesser. “If they don’t show up at 6 a.m., those workers will lose their jobs.  That is unacceptable.”

Similar legislation was introduced this past year, but it did not make it out of the Labor Committee.

Many retailers say they’re opening to stay competitive, offering earlier-than-ever access to Black Friday deals. But critics say it takes employees away from their families on this American holiday, forcing them to work.

Stores opening on the holiday this year with select hours include Target, Sears, Toys”R”Us, Macy’s, Kmart, JCPenny, Walmart and Best Buy. Several stores have pledged to remain closed on Thanksgiving, including Nordstrom, Costco, and Dillard’s.

Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island have laws banning retailers from opening on Thanksgiving.

Related story:

Legislator wants to stop “Black Friday creep”

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4 comments

  • Ana Bonilla

    Please, don’t let the stores open on Thanksgiving Day!! I always Host the Thanksgiving Dinner at my house. Last year it was a disaster. Most of the people left so early because the sales started early. I am afraid this year will be the same. If it is, this will be the last day i Host a Thanksgiving dinner :( Please don’t let the stores ruin Thanksgiving!

  • Nicholas

    The issue here is not having dinner, it is not about shopping, it is about the complete disregard for American tradition and the many reasons behind the day. Such as remembering a genocide of a people, being thankful for what is already owned and of course the precious time spent with loved ones. Do not allow these retailers to believe they are important enough in both the economy or anyone’s life. Retailers do not have the right to ruin American traditions. Even as I am opposed to intervention in the market, retailers only profit from paying people low wages and working them long hours.

  • Allyn

    I work at Mobil gas station don’t get any holiday pay ever it’s just not offerd stright pay all year round no bonuses for anything. Wish there were something I could do