December 1st, 2012

A Target employee traveled across the country earlier this month to deliver a petition to the company’s headquarters in Minneapolis. The petition requested that the store change its hours for Black Friday shopping, which have been creeping earlier and earlier each year, and the store now opens at 9 pm on Thanksgiving.

The woman wrote on her petition that among her three jobs, she wishes that she could have Thanksgiving off from all of them to enjoy the day with her family. She says that the company doesn’t allow vacation requests for several days each year, including Thanksgiving night and Black Friday.

A Target spokesperson said that the Minneapolis-based retailer recognizes the sacrifice that employees are making to open the stores early, but also asserts that many workers want to work the extra holiday hours.

We’ve written in the past about the ongoing employment dispute between Walmart and their workers, who are seeking changes to company’s scheduling, compensation, and other policies. These types of disputes are difficult for both the company and the employees, who each have compelling interests that they seek to advance. In the situation at Target, the company stands to profit and please their customers who enjoy getting an early jump on the holiday shopping season. On the other hand, employees should be able to spend time with their families and take the holiday off if they would like to.

These types of employment disputes can be difficult to solve, and in this case it seems that Target did not honor the request made in the petition. However, it is important that all employees have their rights respected and if a company policy violates any of their rights, they can seek a remedy.

Source: Kare 11, “Target employee drops off ‘Black Thursday’ petition,” Nov. 19, 2012.

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