97 Percent of Employers to Provide Paid Day Off for Memorial Day According to Bloomberg BNA Survey

Over Two in Five Employers Require Some to Work on Holiday

Arlington, Va. (May 13, 2015) — With Memorial Day rapidly approaching, ninety-seven percent of American employers will provide a paid day off for Memorial Day giving workers the opportunity to spend the day at the pool and barbequing with friends and family while taking time to remember those who served in our country’s armed forces, according to a Bloomberg BNA survey of over 100 human resource professionals.  However, over two in five employers, 43 percent, indicated that they will require some employees to work on the holiday. 

“Along with Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Independence Day, Memorial Day is one of the six paid days off that nearly all American workers enjoy,” said Matt Sottong, Bloomberg BNA’s Managing Editor, Surveys and Research Reports.  “However, as with most federal holidays where most Americans receive a paid day off, some will be required to punch the clock, particularly technical workers and public safety and security personnel.  Eighty-five percent of those required to work on the holiday will receive additional compensation for their work.”

Technical and Security/Public Safety Personnel Most Likely to Work

Nearly one-fifth or 17 percent of all responding organizations will have technical staff on duty on Memorial Day, and 15 percent will have security or public safety workers report for work.  Thirteen percent of organizations will have professional employees at work on Memorial Day, 12 percent will ensure managers or supervisors are working on the holiday, 11 percent will have service/maintenance employees on duty and 10 percent will have sales and customer service personnel on the clock.

Those Required to Work Will Receive Extra Compensation

The vast majority of organizations, 85 percent, who will have at least some employees work on Memorial Day will provide something more than regular pay for the holiday’s work, including time-and-a-half pay (28 percent), both extra pay and compensatory time (20 percent), double-time pay (15 percent), an “other” form of extra pay such as “double-time-and-a-half” (15 percent) or comp time in addition to regular pay (7 percent). Only 11 percent of organizations that will require at least some workers to be on staff on Memorial Day will provide just regular pay.

Differences among Organizations by Size and Type  

Eighty percent of large organizations, those with over 1,000 employees, will require at least some employees to work on Memorial Day, compared to only 31 percent of smaller organizations.  Fifty-nine percent of non-business organizations — such as hospitals, government agencies and municipalities —will require at least some employees to be on staff on Memorial Day as compared to only 35 percent of manufacturers and non-manufacturers.

Bloomberg BNA conducts multiple surveys throughout the year to provide HR professionals with an understanding of current industry practices.  These are all available through the HR Decision Support Network or can be purchased individually here.

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