Do you know what today is? It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day that marks a time of reflection and a call to service. This is the civil rights icon’s 89th birthday.
If your employer offers a paid day off today, that’s awesome as most workers in the United States “still” do not get Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. According to a study by Bloomberg BNA, only 37 percent of employees get a paid day off, which is similar to the 35 percent of workers who get a paid day off in February for Presidents Day.
“The survey found that as a paid day off, Martin Luther King Jr. Day might have plateaued. Those receiving it as a paid holiday have hovered between 30 percent and 37 percent the past five years.
Manufacturers are least likely to provide it as a day off, with 10 percent offering it.
Non-federal holidays such as the Friday after Thanksgiving are more common days off. About seven in 10 employees receive that as a holiday, and 46 percent are off Christmas Eve.”
If your company doesn’t give MLK as an “official” holiday and you want to, but you need to keep paid time off the same, the HR Capitalist suggests:
- Trade out President’s Day or Columbus Day if have it.
- If you have floating holidays or generalized PTO, reduce by one day and designate MLK as official in exchange.
- Go get Friday after Thanksgiving or (winces) Christmas Eve to trade for MLK.
Now, those are some reasonable options from the HR Capitalist. Don’t you think?
I hope you find these stats about the observance of MLK Day as interesting as I did. While some places where I worked in the past allowed employees to choose which days they wanted, for example, taking MLK day for another holiday or using PTO time, some may not. If you fall in the latter, perhaps, they may be open to the aforementioned ideas, all they’re waiting on is for someone to ask.
I have enjoyed reading Dr. King’s quotes online today. It is really sad that most workers are not off on MLK Day. Nonetheless, it seems as everyone is posting memes, videos, etc. I sure hope we keep the Dream alive 24/7 365 especially with everything that’s going on in the world today. We need to do more than just remember “His Dream”, we need to live it! We must work relentlessly for His aims.
On a final note, I leave you with one of Dr. King’s famous quotes. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”