This year, many retailers are going to be open on Thanksgiving evening, rather than opening early Black Friday morning, and I've been getting questions about holiday pay. Macy's, Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, JC Penney, Kohls, Old Navy and Best Buy are all reported to be opening sometime on Thanksgiving or very early on Black Friday 2013.
When You Have to Work on Thanksgiving
If you have to work on Thanksgiving or early Black Friday morning your employer isn't required to pay you extra for working on the holiday. They are considered regular work days even if you have to go to work at midnight.
However, some employers may provide extra pay or benefits for employees working on the holiday. For example, Walmart says "As we have in the past, we'll be recognizing their hard work with additional pay and free meals during their shifts. This year, as a special thanks, associates who work on Thanksgiving Day will receive a 25 percent discount on an entire purchase this holiday season."
When You Get Thanksgiving Off
If you work for an organization that closes on Thanksgiving your employer is not required to pay you for the day off. It's up to your employer. Some private sector employers may provide holidays off or pay you extra for working on Thanksgiving, but they don't have to.
It's the same case with Christmas and New Year's Day. Unless you work for the federal government, are covered by a contract that provides for holiday pay, or work for an employer that provide paid holidays for its employees you won't get extra paid for working on the holiday or paid if you get the day off.