In January, the state Assembly passed a bill requiring employers to pay double time or twice the regular rate of pay for having someone work on Thanksgiving. Assembly Bill 67 is now before the state Senate. The double time is limited to employees of large retail or grocery stores.

The legislation was approved on a 43-32 vote. Local Assemblyman Brian Jones opposed the bill.

However, there are several other significant exemptions to whom the bill covers. First, retail and grocery store establishments that employ fewer than 500 employees are not required to pay the premium-time payment.

If an employee is covered by a collective-bargaining agreement that specifically provides for premium pay for holiday, they would be exempt from this protection.

Executives and others exempt from overtime rates also are exempt from this bill. It also exempts first responders and emergency personnel.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced the bill and said in the press release following the Assembly’s approval that, in recent years, “Black Friday” shopping deals have increasingly spilled into the Thanksgiving holiday. This forces workers to miss out on celebrating the holiday and spending time with their families in order to keep their jobs. In some cases, this work has become mandatory, forcing workers to give up their holiday or risk losing their jobs.