Zappos Petitions to Make Leap Year a Holiday for Everyone

For Now, At Least Its Employees Get the Day Off

Published On
Feb 24, 2016

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Leap Day is coming, and online retailer Zappos is taking advantage of the period that comes around only once every four years by giving its employees a paid day off to #TaketheLeap, encouraging them to do something challenging, unexpected or world-changing with their new-found free time. Even better, it's launched a petition on to get the U.S. government to make it a national holiday so the rest of the world can too.

During a presentation to Zappos employees, CEO Tony Hsieh asked his staffers, "What would you do with an extra 24 hours?" and then gave them the good news that they wouldn't have to come into work on February 29. He also announced the petition, saying that it would need 100,000 to help make the idea a reality.

Tyler Williams of the Zappos Brand Aura Group then suggested, it wouldn't have to just be a national holiday, but "it can also mean something bigger, soemthing around people getting out that day, conquering a fear, or doing something way out of their comfort zone, or doing something charitable."

Other videos capture employees talking about what they will do with their extra 24 hours, including a woman (and her fiance) who now can make the most of a day she's been obsessed with by getting married on the 29th. And Zappos CEO Mr. Hsieh will be officiating.

Zappos isn't the first retailer to give its employees an unexpected break. Last year REI did something similar for its own staffers on what's known to be the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, in a much-buzzed about move.

However, it didn't trigger the idea for Zappos' holiday. "Zappos respects the bold move REI took for their Black Friday campaign, but it was not an inspiration for #taketheleap," a company spokesperson said.

According to Mr. Williams, the idea "evolved over time. Entering into 2016, leap year was on our radar. One of Zappos' core values is to embrace and drive change. We believe this extra day will give our employees the chance to live that value by doing something amazing on Leap Day, and hope to inspire others to do the same."