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It's MLK day, are you working?

I am toiling away at my computer today, my kids in the background interrupting me every so often. If it wasn't for deadlines, I'd be at a park. I sure wish I was among the fortunate who have the day off.  In observance of Martin Luther King Day, nearly three in ten employers (28 percent) will give all or most workers a paid holiday today (Monday, January 18), according to BNA's most recent survey of holiday practices.

While that sounds pretty good, employers are not as generous this year as last. This year's time off numbers are down slightly from figures reported by employers in 2008 (31 percent), 2007 (33 percent) and 2006 (31 percent) but is still a marked increase over the more than two decade history of this holiday. Only 14 percent of surveyed employers made Martin Luther King Day a paid holiday in its inaugural year of 1986.

Who gave time off?

Larger organizations, with 1,000 or more employees, are more likely to give workers paid time off on Martin Luther King Day than their smaller counterparts (41 percent versus 24 percent).  Organizations with a union presence are more likely than those without one to designate Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday. And nonbusiness employers (such as government) are far more likely to make Martin Luther King Day a paid holiday. More than one-half of nonbusiness organizations (54 percent) will make January 18 a paid holiday.

If you are fortunate enough to have the day off, enjoy. If not, enjoy the slower pace of the day...it may mean a little reprieve from the mountains of email flowing into your Inbox.