Washington, D.C. – Vacation requests submitted to employers nationwide for the calendar year 2012 are showing a new trend compared to previous years’ requests. According to a statistics recently released by the Department Of Labor, more of the workforce is requesting time off for Thanksgiving in the coming year and less for Christmas.
This raises concerns for employers and employees alike for a variety of reasons.
In an effort to keep things fair, employers tend to encourage employees to alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year so that no one employee gets every Thanksgiving or Christmas off every year.
Under this strategy, employees with time off during Thanksgiving during 2011 would be given preferential treatment to take time off during Christmas, 2012. There, in lies the problem.
In the month of October alone, employers nationwide have seen a whopping 73% increase in requests for time off during Thanksgiving week, 2012. Not so surprising is the reason for such an increase.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a high ranking official within the Department Of Labor attributes the unusual trend to the Mayan calendar. “There’s a prevailing new age belief about this calendar that it predicts the end of the world as we know it on December 21, 2012. Employees nationwide who subscribe to the belief feel that scheduling extended time off around the Christmas holiday next year will be a moot point.”
Moot is exactly what it is too. Throughout the year, employees bank vacation time in order to take extended time off around the holidays to spend time with friends and family alike. To get through the entire year of work without getting an opportunity to use the paid time off is considered a benefit which workers just do not want to forfeit. As such, employees are gambling that if the world does end before Christmas, the satisfaction will at least exist that vacation banks are left empty instead of being full of unused hours.
Asked whether the Department Of Labor is offering guidelines on handling requests scheduled around the end of the world, the official offered no additional information. “As we understand it, employers are handling each request on a case by case basis.”