You did it! You survived Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the bargain-shopping days in between. That’s impressive, considering Black Friday has its own death count.
This year, online spending surged more than 17 percent over the 2016 holiday shopping weekend. Malls were a little less crowded and journalists had less Tickle-Me-Elmo-related employee tramplings to report on. (Much to the disappointment of this reporter.)
But just because we saw a slight slowdown in foot traffic, doesn’t mean Black Friday workers had an easy go of it.
Holiday shoppers spent an estimated $682 billion last weekend, both in stores and online — that’s about $30 billion more than last year. And the National Retail Federation believes more than 500,000 seasonal shift workers were hired this holiday season to handle the influx.
These employees are not only expected to work long hours during the holidays (while the rest of us gorge on turkey and splurge on Amazon), but many of them are subjected to “clopens” (closing then opening), back-to-back shifts, on-call schedules, and constant last-minute shift changes — and that’s just the start.
According to our research, 3 in 10 shift workers say they only get a one-hour break between shifts. That’s two full shifts with only one hour off in between.
In fact, only 4 percent of employees can say they get at least 10 hours off between scheduled shifts. The other 96 percent of workers get less than 10 hours to exercise, eat, sleep, or maintain a social life outside of work, in between shifts. (Keep that in mind the next time you encounter a cashier who’s having a rough day.)
Fortunately, for employees working in New York, California, and several other states, that’s all about to change. Several states across the US are adopting predictive scheduling or “Fair Work Week” laws that will mandate when employees should receive their weekly schedule, how they get paid for on-call shifts, and how much time must pass between scheduled shifts (hint: it’s more than one hour).
But, until those laws are enacted in all 50 states, well… #ShiftHappens.
Closing the store today and opening up again tomorrow? #ShiftHappens
Last-minute shift changes wreaking havoc on your social life? #ShiftHappens
Cancelled plans for an on-call shift that never happened? #ShiftHappens