Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee, recently started a petition to urge the company to not open their doors at midnight on Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Concerned about his coworkers and the fact that many would like to spend the day with their families (or just resting), Hardwick wrote:

“A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day.  By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation — all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night’s rest on Thanksgiving!”

Each year, retailers have been opening their doors earlier and earlier to capitalize on shoppers’ incessant need for a good deal. Many stores offer “door busters” to lure shoppers in before dawn, and customers happily oblige.

But what about the workers?

Target’s employees aren’t the only ones upset they have to work on Thanksgiving. Similar petitions by employees of Wal-Mart and Best Buy urge the giant retailers to give their workers a break…at least until 5 a.m.

Hardwick told the finance radio show Marketplace he started the petition because he felt like workers were given no choice but to accept the unconventional working hours.

“It was just like, this is what you’re going to be working on Black Friday, take it or leave it,” Hardwick said. “And most people are so desperate to keep their jobs that you know obviously we’ve got to take it.”

Retailers claim they are opening on Thanksgiving to serve the demands of their customers.

Wal-Mart executive, Mac Naughton released a statement saying, “Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.”

Toys“R”Us Chief Marketing Officer agreed, saying, “We know our customers like to get an early start on their Black Friday shopping, so we’re offering more savings than ever and providing even more hours to save by opening our stores at 9pm on Thanksgiving night.”

But are customers really clamoring to tear themselves away from their friends and families to cash in on deals or are retailers disregarding the Thanksgiving holiday to maximize profits?

How soon is too soon to open stores on Black Friday?

What say you, Clutchettes and Gents….will you be lining up on Black Friday (or Thursday)?  

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