How Kavanaugh Hearing Could Cost Employers Up to $2 Billion

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When federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh sits down in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday for another hearing concerning his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, public interest in the proceedings is expected to be intense. Palo Alto University Professor Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they both were in high school.

Kavanaugh has denied the charges, setting up Thursday’s hearing as compelling must-watch TV for many Americans. But a lot of those Americans will be at work during the hours of the hearing, and some will have jobs that make it possible for them to at least check in on what’s happening with the hearing.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has calculated the cost to employers if every one of the 90 million or so U.S. workers who use the internet for their jobs were to spend one hour watching the committee hearing.

The calculation is based on an average hourly wage of $25.39, the July figure from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a U.S. workforce that includes 90,130,268 employees who use the internet to do their jobs.

Now multiply the total by 82%. That’s the percentage of U.S. workers who will actually be at work on Thursday. The rest will be on vacation, home sick, taking a scheduled day off or absent for some other reason and won’t be at work. That works out to 73,906,820 internet workers at their place of work on Thursday.

Challenger, Gray estimates that 94% of these employees are also “interested in politics/likely to watch or follow updates on the hearing.” That calculation shrinks the total number of employees to 69,472,411.

Assume every one of those more than 69 million watches the hearing for an hour. At $25.39 per hour, that comes to $1.76 billion.

If you’re the boss, think of it as an investment in the country’s future. That might even be tax deductible.