American workers see less vacation time than workers in other countries

Published On: May 24 2013 05:07:04 PM EDT   Updated On: May 24 2013 05:40:41 PM EDT

It's no secret that the United States lags behind many other countries when it comes to paid time off.

A new report released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that nearly one in four (23 percent) of Americans do not receive paid vacation days from their employer.

Canada and Japan require businesses to offer employees a minimum of 10 paid vacation days. The European Union requires employers to offer 20 paid days off, while France gives 30.

"We need it for the health and well-being of our workers," Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida told USA Today. He introduced a bill this week that would require businesses to offer employees a yearly paid vacation. 

Bigger Not Better:

The report reveals 90 percent of top wage earners in the U.S. are offered paid vacation days compared to only 49 percent of low wage earners.

Roughly 86 percent of companies with 100 or more workers are likely to offer employees paid vacation time, while 69 percent of companies with 99 or less employees offer paid vacation time.

Many U.S businesses offer their employees an average of 10 paid vacation days and six paid holidays, but there is no law that requires U.S employers to offer vacation days.


Why or why not?

Opposition to a law that forces businesses to offer paid vacation days was quick to arise. "When you make it more expensive to hire workers, fewer workers get hired." said Daniel Mitchell, a senior at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

Psychologist Joshua Coleman argues, "It's important to take a vacation even if the work is pleasurable. "Work is inherently stressful. There are psychological demands of interacting with other people, meeting deadlines and performing. We need breaks from that to recover, reboot."


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