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State employees will work Monday, but liquor stores will be closed


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SALT LAKE CITY -- If you stop by a state liquor store Monday, employees inside will hear you knocking but they won't let you in.

"It seems silly," says Utah resident James Hunsaker. "If they're going to be working, it should be open."

It's the result of a possibly unrealized glitch of the four-day workweek. When former Gov. Jon Huntsman made the shift, the state took away Columbus Day to even out holiday pay. But by state statute, liquor stores must remain closed to the public on state and federal holidays.

"This is unique in that our offices will be open and our warehouse will be open, but the stores will be closed," says John Freeman, deputy director of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC).

"If we can't be here, what are they doing here? Restocking, I guess?" asks Scott Klein, also a Utah resident.

That's exactly right, according to the DABC. Employees will also take inventory, and in some stores roll out a new inventory accounting program. The warehouse will operate as usual.

"We have to deliver about 14,000 cases of alcohol per day," Freeman says.

A number of workers have chosen to simply take a vacation, but if they plan to spend that day off sipping an adult beverage they better plan ahead.

As for other Utahns, some will undoubtedly be caught off guard.

"If I saw the lights on, you bed I'd be surprised it was closed," Klein says.

The DABC estimates say as many as three-quarters of employees will take a full or partial vacation day Monday.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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