From a labor and employment law standpoint, I’m not sure we have a lot to be thankful for this year. But ’tis the season, so here are a paltry few:
Be thankful that your employer doesn’t fire you while you’re on the air. Ben Finfer, co-host of a Chicago sports talk radio show learned that he was losing his job through a tweet that came through while he was on the air last week. Mr. Finfer understatedly called the announcement a “letdown” and then a little less understatedly went on to rant say, “Why is it so hard to tell your employees that they are losing their jobs? . . . We found out . . . while we were on the freaking air. . . . now we have to sit here and do a show for an hour and forty minutes?”
The station, owned by Tribune Media, had been in existence for only nine months and was reportedly losing money.
Be thankful that you don’t work for NBC’s Today show. Last week, I posted about the swift termination of Jamie Horowitz, formerly of ESPN, who had been brought in to make the show more competitive against its arch-rival Good Morning America. In the few short days since I posted that, we have learned that Mr. Horowitz wanted to fire Savannah Guthrie, demote Natalie Morales, and remove Al Roker from doing the weather. (All of this was before Mr. Horowitz was fired himself, allegedly due to the intervention of Matt Lauer.) But they all seem so smiley and chatty and friendly! I can’t believe it!
Be thankful that you don’t work for Walmart if you want Thanksgiving Day off . . . or that you don’t work for Costco if you were hoping to pick up a few extra bucks for your holiday shopping needs. The “Black Thanksgiving” debate rages on. By the way, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has genuinely helpful tips for retail employers to ensure the safety of their employees during all of the Black Friday (or Thursday) insanity.
Be thankful that you don’t hate your job. A survey of British workers showed that they were much more likely to eat junk food as “comfort” when they were having a bad day at work. They’re also more likely to scarf it down, instead of masticating slowly and deliberately.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, y’all, and we’ll be back no later than Friday, December 5.