Sign Telling Workers 'No Time Off Requests Will Be Accepted' Over Christmas Sparks Outrage

A sign that purportedly appeared in one workplace announcing employees would be prohibited from taking time off over Christmas has sparked fury and intense debate.

The controversy began after a Twitter user by the name of @Progressive_RN posted an image to the social media platform appearing to show the sign printed on yellow paper and taped to the wall of an unidentified office.

Written in bold black letters across the page was an announcement that: "No time off requests will be accepted from November 20, 2021 until January 2, 2022."

The words "No time off requests" were also underlined to further emphasize the point. At the time of writing, the post had been retweeted more than 24,800 times and liked over 277,700 times.

This is sure to help morale & staff retention

— 💥 Nurse D (@Progressive_RN) October 12, 2021

According to a series of follow-up tweets, @Progressive_RN said they worked in "inpatient nursing" but were surprised by the announcement as they "generally" only take on three 12-hour shifts a week.

"I'm not claiming that nursing or this hospital are special and unique, just that rules like this — productivity over humanity — are widespread and wrong," they wrote. "There are better ways."

While @Progressive_RN bemoaned their own personal plight, many on Twitter appeared eager to discuss the topic of work during the festive season and holiday requests in general.

"Looks like they're about to lose some more staff," goBuddah wrote. "And y'all wonder why there's a 'worker shortage'" Massilyaaaa added. JDoubleA827 commented: "That's when you stop requesting and just start calling in" while Erudition_Lost joked: "Would hate to have to quarantine during that time."

AR15leftist suggested: "Maybe allow people to take time off, but then offer actual incentives for the ones that don't mind working. Really incentives, like triple time pay."

Others, like Pastel_Burnt, shared their own personal experiences of similar situations. "I used to work 40 hours a week overnight at a market. I requested my birthday off a month in advance and they immediately rejected it," they wrote. "I quit and got a new job within three days."

"There are more jobs than people to fill them in America right now," elbowpenguin noted. "Telling people they can't ask for time off is a good way to make sure other companies get new hires."

Despite the evident anger expressed by many in the thread, there were still plenty of voices expressing some form of support for the practice of blocking holiday requests over Christmas.

PhoebeAfterDark wrote: "There are certain industries [where] it makes sense. I work at a retail warehouse. We're not allowed to take any time off during that time period either because that's peak season and we're going to need all hands on deck to get product out on time."

PoppaCoins asked: "Have none of you people worked retail? This is standard. And usually because they have to deal with y'all holiday purchases." Joco0614 agreed: "As a retail manager I can tell you until consumers stop expecting 24/7 365 nothing will change. Stop going to stores on holidays. Plan ahead. If stores where empty corporations wouldn't open."

ButtercupPB, meanwhile, offered up a slightly different perspective on the issue, explaining that their sister works in a management role in childcare and "things aren't much better for people who are forced to put up signs like this."

"She can't retain staff because the company she works for refuses to let her raise salaries, so she has to severely limit time off for the remaining staff, which of course hurts morale."

Newsweek has contacted Progressive_RN for comment.

The appearance of the sign comes just days after another workplace notice went viral offering employees a $20 reward for reporting on any co-workers they see eating while on shift.

In both cases, workers could be tempted to follow the lead of one viral video star who filmed themselves quitting their role with a major U.S. retailer in a post that subsequently garnered widespread attention on social media.

A man looking sad in an office.
Stock image of a frustrated office worker - a sign appearing to suggest staff at one place of employment will not be allowed to take any time off work has gone viral. Tetiana Soares/Getty