Of course, it’s a “right.”
Update: The day off was granted. From MyNorthwest.com:
Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant urged her peers to give city employees the option to take May Day off. They obliged Monday afternoon by unanimously voting to make it official.
From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant is urging her peers to give city employees the option to take May Day off.
On Monday afternoon, Sawant will introduce a resolution proclaiming that city workers have the “right to take the day off on May 1, 2017, without retaliation.” The resolution also asks that city departments inform non-emergency workers that they have the right to request the day off to attend the “celebrations.”
“I urge councilmembers to approve this May Day resolution, which explicitly recognizes the right of city workers to take the day off and provides protection to city workers who may otherwise worry about retaliation,” a statement from Sawant says. “May Day has historically been an important day of action for worker and immigrant rights. It’s especially significant this year, with immigrants, working people, labor unions, women, and the LGBTQ community under attack from Donald Trump. If Seattle is truly a Sanctuary City that supports immigrants and working people, then it should lead the way by enabling City employees to stand in solidarity with immigrants and all workers on May 1.
“Further, I call on everyone who opposes Trump’s bigoted, anti-worker agenda to participate in peaceful May Day activities, particularly the official May 1 Action Coalition march. Join our growing Resist Trump Coalition to actively organize and build the fightback against the billionaire class.”
Prior to a vote on the resolution, Sawant is calling for a rally at City Hall around 1:30 p.m. The resolution will be voted on during the 2 p.m. city council meeting.
Every year on May 1, a workers’ rights march is held in Seattle as part of International Workers’ Day. The march, attended by thousands, is typically peaceful. Other marches, unrelated to the workers’ march during the day, typically occur in the evening and into the night. Those have become known for antagonism, violence, and damage.
According to the Seattle Times, Sawant’s resolution notes that a state law gives public employees in Washington state the right to request two unpaid holidays per year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized religious activity.
The law says an employee must be allowed to take off the days he or she wants unless the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employer, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety.