Holiday Pay, or Lack Thereof

I haven’t worked many holidays for McDonald’s. Since I’m usually on break for school around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I request off work so I can go home for a few days.

Today, on July 4th, I worked. I wasn’t “put out” in any way by working on this holiday, but I’m sure many people across America were.

To be honest, I’m quite irked with how McDonald’s thanks employees for working on holidays. They simply don’t.

Most McDonald’s are open on  major holidays–sometimes, even Christmas (luckily, ours isn’t). It’s ultimately up to the franchisee, but McDonald’s pressures them to stay open every day of the year–especially during the holidays. Money, money, money.

How does McDonald’s respond to complaints about their lack of holiday pay?

Their first defense is that employees “voluntarily” sign up to work holidays, knowing full well there isn’t bonus pay. This bothers me. Many employees feel like they have no choice but to work. They either need the money badly enough, or they feel pressured–after all, there must be enough employees to run the store, or else.

In addition, if you aren’t diligent enough to request off on a holiday, then you will automatically be scheduled–just like any ordinary day. I didn’t “volunteer” to work on July 4th. I was simply scheduled. If you find yourself in that hole, good luck trying to get out of it.

Their second defense is that they offer employees “other benefits,” so they don’t need to offer holiday pay.

What are these benefits? Well,  full-time workers can opt for health insurance… but the majority of McDonald’s employees are part-time only. The only common “benefits” of all workers are free uniforms and free employee meals. Now tell me, how does a free apron or a free burger make up for missed time with one’s family?

I’m not saying that holiday pay would completely resolve this situation. But it sure would help.

It would help ensure that the crew working on holidays are actually willing to be there, because they feel appreciated.

And, in my opinion, it would make McDonald’s much more respectable as a company.


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