Mike Foley, who represents Cleveland in the Ohio House of Representatives, is an important hero in this land of ours. Foley has taken a stand against a scourge that comes to America each November -- Black Friday. Black Friday used to be known colloquially, as the day that major retailers finally went "into the black" on their balance sheets for the year, owing to the fact that the Friday after Thanksgiving is a major Christmas shopping day.
But over time, we have somehow allowed Black Friday to encroach upon Thanksgiving Day, and now, many major chains are opening their doors on what is traditionally America's happy family holiday, forcing their low-wage workers to leave their homes and loved ones to come into work, nearly get trampled to death, and then sell toasters to massive crowds of angry shoppers.
This is a problem I had the pleasure of going on HuffPost Live to discuss, in the video above. Foley is the solution to this problem, if more lawmakers across the country show the same amount of courage and compassion.
Of this monstrous new tradition, Foley says, "It's just disgusting." That is 100 percent accurate. So Foley is going to try to help in some small way by making sure that those who leave their homes on Thanksgiving Day to toil in this horror show at least get fantastically well-compensated. As Jillian Berman reported:
Foley, a Democrat representing Cleveland in the Ohio House of Representatives, plans to introduce a bill in the next several weeks requiring that stores open on Thanksgiving pay their workers triple time. The bill would also protect workers from retaliation if they opt out of working the holiday. Foley’s proposal comes as retailers like Kmart, Target, Walmart and Macy’s are kicking off Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Day.
As Berman notes, "Many retailers open on Thanksgiving are offering employees who work the holiday some sort of extra incentive to show up -- time and a half, discounts, a catered Thanksgiving dinner at work, or some combination of all of these things." But Foley wants retailers to think twice about being the worst people on the planet, and opt to not do this horrible thing in the first place.
The good people at Nordstrom, Costco and Radio Shack have done the right thing and have steadfastly refused to ruin Thanksgiving for America. Those retailers shall feast in Retailer Valhalla.
HuffPost readers: Hard times at the holidays? Bad economy, budget cuts affecting Thanksgiving? Tell us about it -- email email@example.com. Please include your phone number if you're willing to be interviewed.
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]