Sandwich Generation
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Should the Monday After the Super Bowl be a Holiday?

Super Bowl Monday and Work Ethic

Perhaps you have heard there is a petition circulating to send to President Obama to make next Monday, the day after the Super Bowl, a national holiday.

" Declare the Monday following the Super Bowl a national holiday" is the brain child of the Fantasy Football site, Here is the petition:

“In 2012, an estimated 111 million American citizens watched the Super Bowl, making it the most- viewed television braodcast in history and one of the largest location-independent gatherings of American people to date. 

We at Fantasy Football petition the Obama Administration to consider  declaring the Monday following Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday. By doing so, the Obama Administration can promote camaraderie among the American people, keep the streets safer for our children on Sunday night and Monday morning, promote a productive workplace when work resumes on Tuesday, and honor the most popular event in modern American culture.”

Now, the fact that a Fantasy Football site initiated the petition detracts from the seriousness of the effort since there can be no doubt Fantasy Football hopes the PR effort leads to more sign-ups for its newsletter, betting, and other self-promoting activities. Nevertheless, the fact that many Americans have already signed the petition and more are seriously considering it speaks volumes about the declining ethical values in our society.

The rationale typically given to have Super Bowl Monday as a holiday is that people do not want to go to work after eating and drinking for four hours on a Sunday -- so let's make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. I suppose given our work-ethic-challenged society many already call in sick that Monday while others are unproductive at work. Still, that doesn’t mean we need to set new lows for work effort and caring about the quality of work one does in the workplace.

One important ethical value is the pursuit of excellence. Having a national holiday after the most watched show of the year elevates laziness and the declining work ethic in our society to new heights (or lows!). When sports gets priority over keeping the engine of economic development and capitalism going even for one day, we have morphed into selfish society of the first order. surveyed employees asking what the Super Bowl does to the workplace the Monday after the game. They found:

  • 20% of employees say that employee morale is typically better in the office the day after the Super Bowl.
  • 22% of employees notice, however, that the Monday following the Super Bowl is commonly a less productive day than usual.
  • 8% of employees plan to take the day off following the Super Bowl.
  • 9% of employees plan to take the Monday off as a vacation day.  
  • 3% of surveyed employees admit that they plan to call in sick the day after the Super Bowl. also asked employees if their employers offer any type of perks for the Monday after the Super Bowl. Several employees said that they are either allowed to work from home or use the Monday as a flex day. Another employee noted that their weekly Monday morning meeting gets bumped until later in the day on the Monday after the Super Bowl. Other survey respondents said that their employers buy breakfast for employees on the Monday after the game.

In a broader survey that illustrates laziness in society, two-thirds of U.S. workers who call in sick at the last minute do so for reasons other than physical illness, according to the findings of the 17th annual CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey. CCH is a leading provider of human resources and employment law information and services.

Is worker absenteeism a problem for business in general? Yes, according to the 2007 CCH Survey. It found that while 34 percent of people call in sick to work at the last minute due to “personal illness,” 66 percent are taking time off to deal with personal or family issues.

“Most people today are juggling the demands of busy personal and professional lives, and are trying to do their very best in both places,” said CCH Employment Law Analyst Pamela Wolf. Employers, however, have failed to make significant headway against the costly absenteeism problem that takes billions of dollars off the bottom line for U.S. businesses. The nation’s largest employers estimate that unscheduled absenteeism costs their businesses more than $760,000 per year in direct payroll costs, and even more when lower productivity, lost revenue and the effects of poor morale are considered.

The CCH Survey also found that for many employers, it’s no surprise when employees are likely to be no-shows. More than two-thirds (68 percent) report finding a discernable pattern in unscheduled absences, with 37 percent of organizations reporting the most noticeable pattern is people calling in sick on Mondays and Fridays, followed by 17 percent recognizing the most noticeable pattern occurring around holidays such as Christmas or the Fourth of July and 13 percent reporting their most noticeable pattern of unplanned absences occurs during flu and hay fever seasons.

Our country runs the risk of falling behind China as the world’s largest economy. We need to get serious about the importance of staying competitive in an increasingly globalized world economy with countries like China chomping at the bit to overtake us as the world leader.

You can bet the Chinese government has not declared a national holiday for the day after the country’s national Ping Pong Championship.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on January 28, 2013