Assemblywoman modifies plea for double-pay for Thanksgiving workers


Target employees help customers at the checkout registers inside the Target Corp. Store. (Getty Images)

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SAN DIEGO — Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said Wednesday she plans to make changes to her proposed legislation that would require paying retail employees double-time if they have to work on Thanksgiving.

Her original bill, introduced last December, would have mandated double- time pay for working specified “family holidays” unless they’re covered by a collective bargaining agreement, work for a company with 25 or fewer employees, or is a first responder or other sort of emergency worker.

The legislation passed two committees but failed 34-29 on the Assembly floor in June.

She said she would change the bill to involve only Thanksgiving and cover retailers with 500 or more employees.

“If large retailers increasingly want to be open on Thanksgiving, they should share their holiday profits with the very workers that are being forced away from their families,” Gonzalez said.

Her legislation was spawned out of criticism of large retailers that opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day to get a jump on Black Friday sales. Some store chains plan to open in the morning, while others will start around 5 or 6 p.m.

The assemblywoman contends that some companies threatened to fire employees if they refused to work on Thanksgiving.

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