Stores Open On Christmas Day 2016 May Not Pay Overtime In 2017 Thanks To Trump [Opinion]
Does it sound like fun to keep a store open on Christmas Day and do it for the normal wage you earn any other day of the year even though you already worked 40 hours that week?
Sadly, there is a possibility that Trump could lean toward making Christmas Day as unbearable as possible for some service or retail industry workers next year by not passing changes to overtime pay laws that Obama tried to pass in late November.
Each year, millions of Americans search online for stores open on Christmas Day, and they also look for stories about the holidays that warm the heart. Next year, there is a possibility Donald Trump will be seen as Scrooge by retail or service workers if he makes the wrong decision about an overtime pay expansion law that is currently in flux.
Recently, NBC pointed out that Donald Trump prefers it when people avoid saying “Happy Holidays” and instead say “Merry Christmas.” Nevertheless, it really could be possible that many retail workers will be cursing Trump on Christmas Day in 2017.
Interestingly, just as service workers are tweeting about how sad they are that they have to work on Christmas Day, there are many customers out there tweeting about how thankful they are that someone kept stores open on Christmas Day for the rest of the country.
Despite this, for Christmas 2017, there may be a large number of people working without getting any overtime pay — thanks to Donald Trump.
Weeks in advance of the holidays, there were already posts on Twitter from workers expressing anguish about having to spend time away from family to keep stores open on Christmas Day.
Obviously, unless you are Donald Trump or Ebenezer Scrooge, the verdict is that it can be really unfair to work on Christmas Day, especially if you are in the retail industry.
Fortunately, there are lots of supportive tweets for Christmas 2016 that imply that anyone keeping stores open on Christmas Day must be a type of Good Samaritan.
For example, one Twitter user posted on Christmas 2016, “Shoutout to the people who work for retail and the food industry. You guys are the real MVP’s. Thank you for all that you do. Merry Christmas.”
Another tweet intended to boost the spirits of anyone that had to work in order to keep stores open on Christmas Day reads, “I’d just like to say, thank you to whoever works in retail during the holiday season! Cuz people suck!”
Interestingly, one person in the retail industry declared Target to be a friend of service industry workers because the store is open on Christmas Eve until 10 p.m., and stated, “those of us who work in retail need time to do our last minute shopping too!”
Outside of stores open on Christmas Day, there are also many goodwill tweets aimed at service work professionals such as police, fire, and EMS services. For example, on Christmas Eve 2016, one Twitter user wrote, “Special thanks to all the medical professionals working Christmas and Holidays to save lives. You are the true heroes and humanitarians.”
Another Twitter user wrote a highly-favorited and retweeted message on December 23 that stated, “Shoutout to the police, fire department, ambulance drivers, and nurses working Christmas. Thank you and Merry Christmas.”
Oddly, working on a holiday like Christmas is not necessarily unique. In November 2014, a Heartland Monitor Poll stated that 25 percent of Americans will work on Christmas Day or another holiday in a job required to keep everyone safe.
However, will everyone be tweeting apologies to retail workers in 2017 for working over 40 hours per week during Christmas — and not getting the extra boost in income with overtime pay?
Unfortunately, although President Obama attempted to pass an expansion of overtime pay around the end of November, it was thwarted, according to NPR. Now Trump could decide if jobs that pay less than $47,000 per year will be exempt from paying some of their workers overtime.
Of course, less than $47,000 per year in pay means that workers in the food service and retail industry will be affected the most, according to WSJ. It is also workers in this industry that the nation depends on to keep stores open for Christmas Day.
In other words, unless Trump is visited from the Ghost of Christmas Future soon, the people that work the hardest to keep stores open on Christmas Day could be getting their normal hourly wage with no overtime pay in 2017 — on top of not spending time with their family or friends.
[Feature Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]