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Asking Medical Practice Staff to Work Holidays: What's Appropriate?


A recent blog has readers debating what holidays staff should have off, and how far in advance staff should be notified of holiday schedules.

Physician blogger Melissa Young recently wrote about her "mixed feelings" regarding her upcoming office closure for the holidays.

When Young informed her staff that they would have to work on Christmas Eve (she did not notice a scheduling error blocking Christmas Eve until early December) some staff responded that they had never worked Christmas Eve before, and others said they had already made plans.

Young gave in, and told her staff that she would count December 24 as an unpaid holiday.

"I feel taken advantage of," she wrote. "Am I being too nice a boss? Letting the staff dictate when the office will be closed? I feel guilty. After all, it is Christmas. Am I being Scrooge-like? Is working Christmas Eve too much to ask!?"

Several readers weighed in. Some said it was perfectly appropriate to ask staff to work Christmas Eve; others said it was only fair to give staff members the day off due to the scheduling error. Still others said staff should always have off on Christmas Eve.

"It makes no sense to me to be in the office on a holiday," one reader wrote. "The 24th and the 25th are paid holidays for my staff, and it would never even cross my mind to have them (or myself) in the office on either day. The same went for the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I can't see myself ever changing this practice."

What holidays do you think staff members should always have off? How far in advance should staff be notified of holiday schedules? How does your practice make these decisions?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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