Working Thanksgiving? Proposed California bill would offer double wages

Californians working through the holidays could get heftier paychecks under legislation that would mandate double pay for Thanksgiving and Christmas shifts.

As more and more retailers and restaurants remain open on what have historically been off days, said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, workers deserve to earn extra. She plans to unveil a bill that would require additional pay, a policy she settled on in lieu of seeking to bar stores outright from opening on the holidays.

“I’ve watched how the retailers and restaurateurs continue to expand their hours and open up on these holidays that are traditionally family holidays,” Gonzalez said. “What people are being called in to do now is a real slap in the face of family values, frankly.”

Certain industries require some employees to work 365 days a year, Gonzalez noted, recounting how her mother worked as a nurse and would sometimes be called in on holidays. But she draws a distinction between indispensable services like police departments or hospitals and other businesses.

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