California Measure to Give Retail, Grocery Store Workers Double Pay on Thanksgiving Fails

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Shoppers enter and exit a Kmart store in Rosemead on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 2015. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

State lawmakers defeated a measure late Wednesday that would have given retail and grocery store employees who work on Thanksgiving double pay.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), the bill’s author, said it was needed as more and more retailers were extending Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving Day.

“I narrowed and narrowed and narrowed this bill so it only affects the things that concern us the most: the larger retailers who continue to open up on Thanksgiving rather than allowing people to stay home with their families,” Gonzalez said.

No opponents to the measure spoke on the Assembly floor, but numerous business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, were against it. They argued the bill unfairly hurts big-box retailers that are competing with online outlets for sales. The measure fell 10 votes short of passage, with both Republicans and Democrats in opposition.

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