Black Friday Creep Costs Retail Workers Their Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON — Last year, for the first time in her life, Ayanna Roach missed Thanksgiving.

The 23-year-old was working at an Old Navy store in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn while her extended family feasted on turkey and stuffing in East New York. Roach’s shop was one of roughly a thousand in the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy family that opened for normal business hours on Thanksgiving.

When a manager asked for volunteers to work the holiday, Roach had offered to take the morning shift because she needed the hours. But she wound up with a shift smack in the middle of the day, a holiday loss that wasn’t worth the overtime pay on her sub-$9-per-hour wage, she said.

“They don’t seem to care about the employees and the family time,” Roach, a Penn State University graduate who now works at a bank, said of the retail industry generally. “They care about the money.”