‘Immoral’ Reminder to Employees About ‘Vacation Blackout’ Sparks Anger

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A screenshot showing a reminder that an employee received about a “vacation blackout period” was posted on the popular Reddit forum “Antiwork,” stirring a conversation about the policy.

The post, which was shared by u/moshpitb**ch on Tuesday, has received more than 13,000 votes and showed the alleged email that informed employees when they would not be able to take time off from work.

Vacation blackout periods may be put in place if a company expects an increase in business, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Stressed Out Employee
Here, a stock image of a woman stressed out at her workstation. A Reddit post about a “vacation blackout period” stirred a conversation among commenters.
fizkes/iStock

“While the blackout rules should be applied in a fair manner, in some instances, making reasonable accommodations for employees who have an urgent need for leave may be appropriate,” the organization said.

Some exceptions to the rule that the SHRM outlined included a need to travel for medical or bereavement purposes. The vacation blackout should not interfere with collective bargaining agreements with union members or any state or local laws.

The screenshot showed a message that said the time between November 1 and January 2 is a “vacation blackout period.”

“No time off requests will be accepted or approved during this time,” the email concluded.

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The message prompted Reddit users to weigh in with their thoughts about the policy.

“‘That’s good because I’m not making a request, I’m telling you I won’t be here,'” a Reddit user with the top comment wrote.

“Marking off two full months as ‘no vacation’ month should be illegal,” another Redditor wrote. “At best it’s immoral and inhumane.”

“Looks like they’ll lose some employees,” a Reddit user commented.

One Reddit user said they work in a grocery store, which gets especially busy in November and December.

“Our blackout period is the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the two weeks again leading up to Christmas,” they said. “I can’t imagine the whole two months getting blocked off! It’s such a crazy stressful period that people need to get a break in between if [they] want one.”

A Reddit user said they’d understand a week or two week-long vacation blackout period but pushed back against the one outlined in the post.

“But a whole 2 months is just proof that they’re unable to plan at all,” they wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/moshpitb**ch for comment.

The “Antiwork” forum on Reddit is home to other viral posts about the working world.

A man said he decided to quit his job less than an hour into his second day when he was reportedly chastised for prioritizing his family over work.

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One applicant received support for declining to take a job when they were offered $6,000 less than what was advertised because they were unemployed.

Another post prompted Reddit users to criticize a boss who expected a response from their employee after emailing them Friday night.

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