Land of the free -- and no mandated vacation time
The US is the only developed nation that doesn't legally guarantee paid vacation and holiday time for its workers.
When was the last time you had a paid day off? If you can remember and you work in the U.S., you're apparently in luck. America is the only developed economy that doesn't legally guarantee any paid vacation time for its workers.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research recently reviewed vacation and holiday laws around the world and found that "in the absence of government standards, almost one in four Americans has no paid vacation (23%) and no paid holidays (23%)."
The center also quotes government data in its study showing that the average person employed in the U.S. private sector gets about 10 paid days of vacation and six paid holidays annually. That's less than the minimum legal standard set in every economically developed country except Japan -- and even Japan mandates at least 10 paid days off annually.
If you're at the financial bottom of the workplace totem pole, your chances of getting a paid day off decrease. Only 49% of low-wage workers -- that is, people in the lowest fourth of earners -- receive any paid vacation. That compares with 90% of those in the top fourth, who do get paid vacations and holidays.
In fact, if you look at all U.S. workers, the vacation gap becomes even wider: Low-wage employees get four days off, compared with 14 for their better-paid counterparts. And if you work part time, your chances of getting a paid day off are even slimmer, at 35%, compared with 91% for full-time employees.
Looking at the study's chart of vacation days in the world's richest countries, one can easily argue that the nations with the most generous days off -- such as France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece -- are also in the most dire economic straits these days.
"All those people with four weeks off may be the critical factor to lax worker behavior, and that almost certainly does not help GDP," Douglas McIntyre recently blogged at 24/7 Wall St. "In the United States, on the other hand, labor is uninterrupted, and that drives an efficient workplace."
You can also argue that less time off has placed the U.S. among global leaders in productivity. Wednesday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report says productivity increased at a 0.5% annual rate during the first quarter of 2013. Over the same time, however, hourly compensation fell by 3.8% -- the largest decline since that set of statistics was first compiled in 1947.
The sluggish economy, along with the difficulty in finding stable, full-time work, allows companies to ask more of their employees. A 2012 survey by Right Management found only 30% of American workers use all the time off they're allowed.
"Such a reluctance to take all of one's vacation is a sign of an intense, pressure-filled workplace," Monika Morrow, a Right Management senior vice president, noted in a press statement. "However important devotion to the job may be," she added, "there has to be some balance, and vacation is so important to one’s health and happiness."
Yes well..so goes stomach ulcers, heart attacks, job burnout....and some theorized that stress, in large part, is the cause of some cancers. There should be a mandate for 5 paid sick days and a minimum of 3 weeks vacation per year.
Just took my first vacation since 08. What did I do? Stayed at home and learned what my house looks like in the daylight.
On the other hand, now I'm about 10x more productive at work, and I don't feel so bad about going in every morning.
Balance is everything, but I was unable to get paid vacation, because I was not working in a career typ job. I was in a make ends meet because you're not going to find something while you're in school silly job.
This is why we need to curb corporate power. If unchecked, corporate lobbying can erode all our rights. What good is the Bill of Rights when corporate lawyers can buy any legislation they wish?
Corporations are NOT people. They are not provided any rights under the Constitution, whereas, people do have rights. But, if the corporate lawyers buy enough congressmen, the Bill of Rights will mean nothing.
The true conservative is one who conserves people's rights.
Im remember the company I worked for always had an excuse when I wanted to go on vacation but when I needed surgery they wanted me to use that instead of sick time
These posters remind of a episode of Archie Bunker. Archer is screaming out how he didn't need no stinking marches to get any job. Edith yelled back, no Archie, you got that job because of your Uncle. Some people don't realize the benefits they have always been getting, until they have the rug, pulled out from underneath their feet. Easy to say what you wouldn't do, until you are actually in a situation that changes that.
Why should the government keep getting into every aspect of American life?
This is supposed to be the land of the free, not the land of the government control.
Not being an f-up and not having a good job that just gives you PTO isn't luck.
Just like 50 million on foodstamp sauce isn't bad luck.
Why does the left believe they are entitled to steal from their employers?
If government mandates more costs, then employers must cut wages or layoff workers to pay for this.
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