Be grateful for vacation days if you work in the United States; US doesn't require paid vacation
Conor Knighton, The List
9:58 AM, Jun 10, 2013
11:37 AM, Jun 10, 2013
It's summer vacation season, and that means travelers are scouring deal sites looking for where to spend their hard earned cash and vacation days --assuming they have any vacation days.
A recent report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research notes that the United States is the only rich country that doesn't require employers to provide paid vacation. The report looked at 21 highly developed nations. All of them except for the US have laws that mandate between 10 and 30 days of vacation a year, more if paid holidays are included.
Canada and Japan guarantee at least 10 paid vacation days. All member countries of the European Union have to require their companies to give at least 20 days of paid vacation. In France, workers get 30 paid vacation days.
A lot of US companies do provide time off. Approximately 90 percent of higher wage workers get personal time off, but that's a perk and not a mandate. Your company doesn't have to give you a paid day off, even for national holidays.
The numbers are worse for lower wage workers. Over half of lower wage workers in the US don't get any paid vacation at all.
Representative Alan Grayson, a democrat from Florida, has introduced a bill that would require companies with more than 100 workers to provide a week's vacation to full time employees, and two weeks after the law has been in effect for three years.
There are some who believe that our nation's lack of mandatory vacation days may be why the US economy is strong compared to others. Sure, France has 30 vacation days, but it's also experiencing the highest unemployment since the country started keeping records in the mid 90's. Lots of vacation doesn't always translate to a booming economy.
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