What Do You Think About the Proposed Paid Vacation Act?

| 7/16/2009 10:52:34 AM

Tags: vacation, U.S. vacation, legislation, question to readers,

Route 66On May 21, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced the Paid Vacation Act of 2009, HR 2564, in an effort to guarantee paid vacation time for employees that work 25 hours a week or more. (Note: Tourism is Florida’s largest business, according to Grayson’s website.) Without the Paid Vacation Act, the United States is currently the only industrialized nation without a minimum annual leave law. From the U.S. Department of Labor website:

“The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or federal or other holidays. These benefits are matters of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).”

The Paid Vacation Act would require companies with 100 employees or more to offer a week of paid vacation for employees that work 25 hours a week or more (or 1,250 hours a year, including both full-time and part-time employees) after they’ve worked at the company for a year. Beginning three years after the law goes into effect, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation. At that same time, employees at companies with 50 or more employees would be entitled to one week paid vacation.

Supporters of the bill argue that regular vacations improve health and productivity. One of the opponents’ arguments is that such a law would encourage employers to hire fewer workers.

What do you think about a law that requires companies to provide a minimum annual paid leave? Would you support it?


7/30/2009 6:49:52 PM

WHY IS THIS COUNTRY TRYING SO HARD TO BE LIKE EUROPE! Isn't that what our founding fathers tried so hard to get away from? Yes, other countries have mandatory payed vacation, government health plans, and other "wonderfull" freebies for the people. But, what do they pay for it. These things don't come cheap. Higher taxes, fewer freedoms. That is what it costs. These types of government interference will only kill this country. And, they are well on their way. Small businesses like my husbands will close down. Larger businesses will either cut back on employees or only higher those that will work "under the table". Is this what the people want? I personally am tired of the "Intitlement" attitude. We are all Intitled to 3 things, Life, Liberty, and the Persute of Happiness. That's it! If you want paid vacations, health care and other perks that are often provided by employers, then work for them. Do what needs to be done to earn them. Work for the companies that offer them. But, don't make it mandatory for the companies in this country to give them to everyone. Not everyone deserves them. Not everyone earns them. And, there are plenty of people coming over from other countries that will glady take your place and not take the vacations, etc... Government is getting too big for their britches. My husband and I are working on becoming as independent as we can because of the government. Homeschooling our son, growing our own foods, setting up systems to make our own electricity, etc... We don't want the government handouts. And, we don't want the price that comes with it. We are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves and choosing how we want to live. If we want a payed vacation, well, we'll just save up our money, and pay ourselves. One note concerning government plans. This is not pointed at people who can't care for themselves, i.e. disabled, ederly and children. But, we should also think of what we

virginia abel
7/26/2009 4:52:23 PM

I am a IBEW Union worker and I think ALL employers should have to offer a paid vacation for the normal hours an employee works. Employers often keep people " part time " so they don't have to offer ANY benefits. I feel these practices should be regulated.

joshua jones
7/24/2009 4:02:33 PM

Forest I understand that education makes up so much and experience is what matters. Many places these days wont take you if you don't have an education. Many people get an education so they may have the option to gain experience. The problem: There aren't many opportunities for today's generation as there were years ago. Even if someone were to want something badly, there are still other people who want the same thing badly and opportunities are still scarce. These days, if it's not on paper, it doesn't count. As for opportunities I served 5 years in the Army. I was in Iraq and I did search and rescue in New Orleans. I had a great job and then I was medically discharged. I have Reynaud's/Vasculitis with other connective tissue disorders. It nearly killed me on numerous occasions while in service.. I couldn't hide it anymore. I'm limited to what I can do by this condition. Not only this but I have terrible credit because I didn't have a job to be able to support my change in lifestyle. I can't get a loan. The jobs that are open that I can physically withstand are scarce and requires schooling that I cannot afford (even with the GI Bill). I don't have healthcare minus what the VA can give me on the condition that is unmanageable. That's not even the worst of it. I'm doing everything I can and opportunities come far from each other. I'm sure that I'm not the only one suffering. Not every region of the country is hospitable and has opportunities. I do fail to see how it affects people with an adjusted income of over $85k a year because I can not find the bill anymore in the library of congress to review it again and I do not see this as any issue being brought up on the accredited political sites. The act is in place to stimulate the economy and to make people happy. It's only a week to two weeks per year.

7/24/2009 10:00:27 AM

We're fortunate in DH's employer. He's afforded 80 hours pto plus 1 hour for every hour over 42 worked in a week and that can be carried over from year to year. A good thing since his typical workweek is 55-65 hours and that leaves very little energy for vacations when he does feel he can be spared. The one vacation he takes??? A week or two to visit his parents around Christmas. I do believe this will result in companies simply hiring fewer people. For the same reason that I cannot bring myself to believe in a completely unbridled free market. All that matters is money, and employees are not people but only a means to money. I'd support it anyway. Better yet??? How about creating a society where people matter more than dollars??? How about creating a society where survival doesn't end up meaning moving so far from your family that you need 2 weeks off to see them at all???

7/23/2009 6:03:05 PM

Incidentally, now that I reread what I submitted, this is the same government that is trying to mandate tagging and registering your livestock, under the pretense that it is for the safety of the food supply. Watch out for them to start mandating that your children be ID chipped, allegedly to keep them safe and identifiable if they get lost or injured. Hogwash, all of it!

7/23/2009 5:57:17 PM

adds up quite nicely, whether you work one job or 2. Most people are quite surprised to discover how many luxuries and unneccessary junk they can do without if they want something badly enough. Don't live beyond your means, and maybe you can afford to have vacation money, even if you r employer isn't providing it. I guess my point is that this is not and should not be something that the government sticks their collective noses into. This is much more a matter of personal responsibility to yourself and making choices that are financially sound. Too much liberalism is what is screwing up modern society today, and government that gets so big that it micro-manages vacation pay is also big enough that it is slowly taking away rights while people aren't paying nearly enough attention to what's going on around them.

7/23/2009 5:44:42 PM

OK, this is a hot topic, and I'm not taking the time to read everyone's input. My eyes are getting tired from reading some of the more pertinent Mother information. However, I will provide my 2-cents worth. Paid vacations are nice, and they do provide a pleasant and usually much needed reprieve from the daily ratrace associated with striving for success in todays modern society. However, most employers already offer the benefit of paid vacation in some form or another. It may not always be as lucrative as what the bill proposes, but it is there. Why are there law-makers out there who are trying to force the issue? (That was a rhetorical question, please don't answer it.) If a person wants to have a paid vacation, and their boss doesn't provide that job perk, there are some very reasonable options. One is to start job-hunting. It's a pain in the neck, but if you are working for someone who doesn't think that employees deserve to get paid time off, then it's probably time to move on anyway. (The exception to this might be if you are working for a newly-started small business, in which case you would do better to talk with your boss to find out if there are plans to offer PTO in the future.) If you are only working at one job, you may consider taking a second, part-time job. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or particularly lucrative, and you don't even have to put in a lot of hours at it. I've worked for places who were willing to have employees who were on the pay-roll just to cover vacations and call-offs of other people. When the money from a second job is put aside for a vacation, it grows nicely. Which brings me to another option. If you are only able to work one job (because of erratic work schedule or child-care issues), try to save up money each payday for your vacation. Incidentally, this is considered to be a good savings tip, vacation aside. Pay yourself first. $25-50 put into a passbook account every week or 2 a

7/23/2009 3:27:29 PM

Ok let me take you back about 100 years when the government kept out of business. Children 5 and up worked in factories where there were many accidents deaths and injuries. Picture a 5 year old with 8 of his 10 fingers. Also dont expect these children to be educated either. The meat packing industry had no accountability. People often lost body parts in the vats of "meat" and old Teddy Roosevelt's rough riders had more loses from their meat rations than from enemy fire. Women worked in sewing shops that we refer to now a days as "sweat shops." Major corporations own entire towns where all the residents were in debt to that corporation and were basicly under their complete control. Small businesses had no chance to even get started. oh and all of you work 7 days a week for maybe $5 a week if your lucky. I dont know why people keep spouting this socialism prattle. There are less than 5% of industries in America nationalised and most of those were nationalised under the LAST administration not the current one. Also universal healthcare and paid vacation leave is NOT socialism. This bill does not hurt small businesses AT ALL. As for larger corporations why the hell should they not give employees paid vacation? The most under appreciated members of the work force and they aren't allowed a vacation? Why do people want the government out of our business? This is not some evil force trying to subjugate the population. This is a representative democracy. If you dont like whats happening in government than have the brains to research the people you elect and if you dont like what they do elect someone else or hell even run for office yourself. But stop with the imagined enemies. "They" are not out to get you.

bill goodrich
7/23/2009 1:45:48 PM

Continued from first page: People whine that they cannot afford health insurance, but they make hugh payments on their new cars. The average family in the US spends $500 per week just going out to eat! I drive a $3,000 car. It is a matter of choice. It galls me to think the Government plans to force me to buy their health plan. They say one thing on TV but the Bill says differently. Have you even read it? : Education my friend. I do have health and life insurance but rest assured it does not cover my pre existing conditions. Would you buy a house that was eaten up with termites? I understand that and accept they cannot cover my condition. So, do I think people deserve to have paid vacations: Absolutely, but I don’t think you should be able to force who I give it to. Do we need reform: Always, but before you jump on anyone who makes an adjusted income of over $85K, (See you did not read the bill did you?), remember not everyone is as rich as you think. This economy has devasted my business. I may very well have to start over. So be it.

bill goodrich
7/23/2009 1:38:22 PM

Joshua, A college degree is only a minor amount of education. I work with ignorant people everyday just out of college with an engineering degree. They are very intelligent, but unlearned. I estimate my degree amounts to about 5% of my education. If you want to succeed you must do your homework. In many cases you have to undo, debunk and re-learn. Formal education is merely a basic framework to start from. If you are not careful they will fill your head with mush. You must fill that framework out on your own. If you are not willing to work at it you will always work for the other man. I worked a full time job, a part time job, went to night school, starved, and did not back off until my hair started falling out. (Thank God it grew back when I did back off some.) I still work till midnight weekends if I have too. The point is you have to want it bad. I would point you to the book "48 days to the job you love" by Dan Miller. While you’re at it, check out Dave Ramsey. Example: One of my friends who studied for hours just to make average grades is still very successful. He started out looking for businesses that had junk piled up around their properties. He would offer to haul it off for them. He now owns a trash pickup service. Continued next page:

fran tracy
7/23/2009 6:05:23 AM

This would put more people on the unemployment rolls. The only reason a Fla. congressmen would propose this is to get more tourist to Fla. Lets talk carbon. That is going to ruin our economy if this carbon tax goes into effect and also put a lot of people out of work as well as ruiing the econamy of a lot of areas. We need to use the natural resourses we have: coal & oil in this country. Lets drill for our own oil and eliminate our dependance on forein imports. This global warming thing is a farce. The world has been cooling for 6 to 8 years. The temperature is cyclic not carbon related. Even if it was carbon related, the US could not do anygood without other countries doing the same and they are not about to do it. Fran

7/22/2009 10:54:32 AM

I think that the government needs to mind it's own business and tend to the more important matters that they have on their plate. An employer has a budget in which to distribute pay and benefits to their employees, not an endless checkbook. So therefore if the employer is required to benefit it's employee's with paid vacation the money has to come from somewhere such as the wage. Let the prospective employee decide whether or not the job meets their requirements.

7/22/2009 8:28:54 AM

Forest, I believe being free is about bveing independent. I don't need manditory paid vacations either. I have been getting along a very long time by just talking to my employer and getting time off when needed for those extra moments. As far as health care, it's not about getting insurance, it's about paying in to a manditory Ponzy scheme, health insurance was brought about by a man scheming to make more money off the backs of others (in the 50's I believe. "I'll bet you won't get sick." Well health insurance only grew so far and people started getting older and more frail. Now the government wants to step in because a business has gone wild and cannot succeed unless it expands, it's nothing more than a pyramid. It needs the young folks to move forward. Eliminate health insurance all together and the problem of health care goes away, self reliance. Oh, and C02 emissions? eliminate one half the world's population and that goes away as well. Imagine all the space left for growing things? And water? Eliminate all those people and the water and wild life come back. So, we can't do those things...it's obvious, then think of better ways, doesn't make any difference what side your on, think of better ways!

kate l
7/22/2009 7:06:13 AM

I would rather see an act/bill passed for medical/health/dental insurance for everybody. Vacations, paid or not, don't mean a darn thing if your health isn't up to enjoying it any of it.

7/22/2009 1:48:18 AM

I prefer freedom. I've always been able to get time off from work (when I had a job, prior to DumbDum '01-'09), simply by explaining the reason why I needed it. I never got paid, but that's the price you pay for freedom!!! You can't have it both ways - and there's NO SUCH THING as security! Freedom is my choice - no scheduled paid vacations, simply whatever the employer offers for a paid vacation. I never took the offered paid vacation, in exchange for being able to get time off when I NEEDED it!!!

7/21/2009 10:18:36 PM

Was not Mother Earth about a commitment to self reliance? These entitlement mentality comments ,Euro-worship and productivity psychobabble are from left field. Government is not giving away anything .This is an another example of career incumbents robbing Peter to pay Paul , that is to say, buying votes. This Parliament of Whores gladly ushered us into an economic wasteland and a clamor for more goodies arises. To borrow from the Lefties, this is unsustainable.

joshua jones
7/21/2009 4:41:48 PM

In regards to the comment by Forest about career crisis; employment offices are full with college grads without placement. People are settling for less to survive and pay off their debts. When you have bills to pay, especially medical bills to keep you healthy enough to work, you'll settle for anything. It must be nice to live without such problems.

joshua jones
7/21/2009 4:10:40 PM

We do live in a free country where freedom is not only limited to individuals but the general consensus of these individuals. We are free to promulgate acts to benefit our nation as a whole. The idea behind this is to promote a more happy and productive workforce. Some people do seem bent on whether or not such legislation is constitutional. People often check whether or not it is in the Constitution but, just as your right to a fair trial and your rights to privacy, are not in the U.S. Constitution. This is why we have our Bill of Rights. What we do have, which is very valuable in my opinion, is the option of looking at other places and countries for ideas that work and the option to incorporate this within our own system. This legislation works quite well in France, so, why not for us? People these days seem bent on suing one another, sucking the life out of the work places and in an economical decline, a vacation would be much better than distressed workers going postal or losing their minds and collecting unearned government money. We need to make the work force more appealing and this, in my opinion, is a large step in a positive direction. Shouldn't you have the right to be happy? The right to take a break every once in a while? Does it really matter that it's the President of the United States sticking up for you or would you leave it to a greedy corporate president finding morals over money?

bill goodrich
7/21/2009 3:37:21 PM

to those who complain that you have to work two part time jobs to make ends meet: you don’t have a financial crisis, you have a career crisis. Almost all Tech schools provide a 90 day program to a full time career, and most have financial aid to assist you getting there. Don’t be such a cry baby. Someone needs to get off their rear end.

bill goodrich
7/21/2009 3:32:49 PM

Wow. I am amazed at how polarized the readers of Mother Earth are. It just goes to show both sides of the political spectrum enjoy learning how to live a healthier life style. There appears to be two basic sides to this. Those who believe Government should not only play a part in social policies and life style, but who are willing to give up freedoms themselves to force others to comply with the ideals of the Government. The other side seems to be from the John Standish mode whose mantra was; if you want to eat you will work (paraphrased of course). The idea is that if you work hard, and save hard, the fruits will come at harvest time. The idea that I have to treat all my employees as if they are one union is particularly hard to swallow. The best employees are certainly the happiest. They are also the ones you give the best perks: the employees who actually do the best job at where they are placed. Most employers give even part time employees paid time off depending on how many hours they actually work. If your employer does not give any vacations to anyone, shame on them: if you stay there, shame on you. I bet Mother Earth gives vacation time to employees. Which view is the correct one? Probably neither side is fully. However I have to say, when I actually read the legislature, I was more than put off by the idea that the government will force me as a self employed person to purchase insurance, with the knowledge that if I don’t they will fine me a years insurance cost and put me in a plan anyway. What ever happen to freedom? Remember the Country song: God Bless the USA? The words that state “the flag stands for freedom and they can’t take that away”? Mr. Greenwood, it appears you were dreadfully wrong; “they” are not taking it away: we are giving it away. I suppose what really gets me is the class envy I hear in our readers comments. Jealousy is certainly a green monster. I have one thing to say to those who complain

7/21/2009 11:15:48 AM

According to the arguments of a lot of these folks, we should have some of the healthiest, most rested people on the planet given the number of people who are content to live on the taxpayer dime! Just look at the number of people who get the earned income tax credit, whether they contribute or not. I believe to those people who value a paid vacation, make sure you excel in a field where that is possible, but this should not be something the government requires. There is something wrong with a world where people do not earn their own way, and I am very afraid that is what America is becoming.

7/21/2009 9:52:50 AM

That means that a lot of people will only work 3 days a week. It could bring about a lot of "job sharing". A person works 3 days then someone else comes in to work that job 3 days. Hmmm.

7/21/2009 6:31:49 AM

I just went and looked at my copy of the Constitution again. I couldn't find any place that authorizes congress to pass this law. This looks like another congressman pushing a unconstitutional law for votes to get re-elected. I think he needs to be unelected and then he can go try and find a real job. Ken

anthony cramer_2
7/21/2009 4:13:45 AM

The United States didn't start off being a socialist country in nature. This is just one more case of Big Government putting its paws where they don't belong. Forcing small businesses into paying for anything above payment for services rendered is way out of line.

fiona b
7/21/2009 2:50:38 AM

Well in the UK we have around 4 weeks' paid holiday. Part time workers get pro-rata holiday which works out around the same, but obviously fewer hours according to how many they work per week. Its a basic human right in my opinion to have a work-life balance which it appears is denied to most Americans. Makes me glad to be British, especially reading how some people here believe that certain individuals aren't entitled to holiday. Do you not think they work hard and deserve a break?

tanya davies
7/20/2009 10:55:55 PM

Capitalism is good for giving people the right to determine their life ultimately without government hindrance. I truly believe Social-Capitalism most likely be where things in the future will go, no different than the mass market and cottage industry structures which seem to be merging in/on the internet. What we fail to realize is the healthier the individual the less of a strain on the health system and for those small businesses already forking out a huge amount for employee healthcare because of the ailments and issues that were not given some time to heal...well life is about equilibrium. If there is lack of rest then it will create another problem elsewhere so exhaustion/stress/overwork will wreck havoc on the body, justifying the high rate of prescriptions and doctor's visits. Should there be a limit to how long? That is up for debate as I feel that can also be abused by the people who benefit from it. However, realize that tired employees who never perform at optimum contribute greatly to the number of mistakes that cost the small business. If you do the math, you might see that they should implement a vacation plan AND revise the healthcare plan to factor in that these "well-rested" employees should not need so many visits and prescriptions. Also reverse doctor's aim to prescribe something and instead aim to prevent something, you would see it would be less costly. How many times have you fired someone and have to start over with a new employee because the other was not performing...maybe that "lazy" employee was genuinely tired, not all can be so incompetent. If that is the case then maybe you really should use that extra 25 days vacation pay and invest in the education system. Everything has a price...the question is which one you prefer?

7/20/2009 8:39:12 PM

This is a foolish idea - yet another bureaucrat who probably has never worked in the private sector much less run a business. If this bill is enacted business will simply subdivide and instead of different departments of the same company we will have several different but smaller companies owned by the same holding company for the sole purpose of avoiding the 100 employee cap. Beyond that, part time employment will run rampant. Companies that cannot support this cost will increase numbers on thier payroll but reduce weekly hours for the majority of their workforce to come in below the 25 hour per week threshold forcing employees to hold more than one, and often more than two jobs in order to make a living wage. I cannot see how that benefits the employee. I cannot see how this would reduce stress of work. Bottom line this country is falling away from the free market philosophies it was founded on. Nobody will benefit from this. How many ways can we come up with to make ourselves less competitive in the world and more dependent on the goodwill of other countries - like China purchasing our national debt.

patricia nicholas
7/20/2009 7:05:16 PM

The "pursuit of happiness" is in the constitution and their are too many "small businesses" that reap the benefits and don't provide any to low level employees. Over 100 employees isn't that small of a business. I have been a small business owner and happy employees are those who know that their work is appreciated. No down time creates high stress, which in turn creates health issues. It is the governments responsibilty to protect all of the citizens of our country, not just the wealthy and powerful. In this atmosphere of two income families and no time for each other it is more important than ever before to provide time for families to be together. Try doing that when both parents work two or three part-time jobs. When you work in the service industry there are never any benefits, and even if you work 50+ hours a week there is never a paid vacation. The only service workers who get benefits belong to the union and they don't work for small businesses. So if you believe that companies should not be required to provide paid vacation tell that to your server the next time you eat out and see how they feel about it.

7/20/2009 6:31:30 PM

Requiring employers to give 25+ hour employees is an excellent idea. Employees would be more productive. Congress definitely needs to enforce fair labor practices for mid-size to large businesses. I hve worked for large companies who insisted I work alone for more than 40 hours per week and not paid me overtime. I did not get breaks as required by law either. Since employers do not want ot follow the law, Congress must force the issue.

maren harvieux
7/20/2009 6:30:30 PM

i agree! but what about people like me who have only 35 people at thier work?? just because we have less people working here doesnt mean that we dont work as hard or harder than larger businesses. i think it should be for companies with 5 or more employees....even if its just 1 week paid.

russell jacobson
7/20/2009 6:00:50 PM

Maybe a solution would be for everyone to get 2wks paid vacation. Including self employed individuals like me. The Government, (us), could afford that after we stop funding the military industrial complex,tax breaks for big business/banks/the very wealthy. That would leave HUGE amounts of money for such things,especially health care. I do believe that vacations are good/healthy,necessary for everyone. It definitely would help our society towards more peace and prosperity.

russell jacobson
7/20/2009 5:52:06 PM

I think it's a good idea as, but also depends on the size of business and profit margin.

greg a
7/20/2009 5:33:23 PM

I think it's time for Government to get out the business of business. Obama has never even run a lemonade stand and he is telling GM and Citicorp how to run their companies. Last time I checked, that was textbook fascism. I am not saying he is the first or the the government just started doing it when he became President but the federal government has been screwing up business for too long. More Government = Less freedom.

mark shinkle_2
7/20/2009 5:26:25 PM

A paid vacation is probably a good thing. Workers may be more productive and actually do a better job. It isnt socialism. Look up the meaning of socialism. Use your dictionaries and you will find you cannot say anything you disagree with is socialistic.

7/20/2009 4:48:42 PM

Reading this I'm glad I'm an Aussie. No sick leave or cover, no public holidays, no paid vacation. What quality of life is that?? So you live and die working for the corporations as slaves. Life is more than that surely.

7/20/2009 3:25:43 PM

Long overdue. Life is about living, not money or productivity. I haven't had a vacation in years-or health insurance. So having 5 paid days off would be a blessing. To be totally honest-I think 2 wks should be the minimum.

matthew l.
7/20/2009 3:00:28 PM

This is a really bad idea. In the United States we have the freedom to be employed (or not employed) as we see fit. The conditions and terms of our employment remain (for the most part) a matter of contract between employee and employer. Many employers offer paid vacations in order to attract quality employees, others can get the labor they need without offering. Just like the "minimum wage" this bill will kill jobs and lead to more and more "zero liability" voters who use the ballot box as an instrument to plunder the pockets of those who have worked hard enough and long enough to be successful. We should all tell the national socialists (on both sides of the political aisle) that we're mad as hell and ain't going to take this c@#p any more.

matthew l.
7/20/2009 3:00:18 PM

This is a really bad idea. In the United States we have the freedom to be employed (or not employed) as we see fit. The conditions and terms of our employment remain (for the most part) a matter of contract between employee and employer. Many employers offer paid vacations in order to attract quality employees, others can get the labor they need without offering. Just like the "minimum wage" this bill will kill jobs and lead to more and more "zero liability" voters who use the ballot box as an instrument to plunder the pockets of those who have worked hard enough and long enough to be successful. We should all tell the national socialists (on both sides of the political aisle) that we're mad as hell and ain't going to take this c@#p any more.

7/20/2009 2:12:57 PM

At this point in time, I would far rather see companies hire more employees than pay for vacations. We're approaching 10% unemployment in CA and higher in several states. Introducing a bill like this at this time is not well thought out.

7/20/2009 1:49:17 PM

After reading some of these comments, I am not surprised any more reading that US is on 50th place for life expectancy. Big businesses don’t want workers to live longer. They are more than greedy. Thanks god, they allowed government to control kids labor.

calvin rittenhouse
7/20/2009 1:31:36 PM

As one of the workers concerned, I see this as something to do later, after we get paid sick leave and preferably some sort of health coverage. Vacation leave wouldn't do me much good right now; what I need is a doctor and time off for appointments.

carol ann
7/20/2009 1:24:49 PM

The problem with a law like this one is that the big corporations find a way to get by with not paying and the small businesses are forced to pay something else they cannot afford or must reduce working hours of their employees to avoid this.

7/20/2009 1:07:05 PM

I hope the education sector is exempt from such a provision. Teachers, aides, principals, etc., would qualify for the vacation time. This is in addition to 15 days of sick leave, 3 personal days, and 3 calamity days, which are all paid for. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring breaks should allow plenty of time for rest and recuperation during the school year. I am NOT saying school staff are not entitled to time off. The employees work hard and are dedicated to the students. What I am saying is school districts cannot afford the extra costs involved (substitutes, for example.) All facets of this bill should be carefully scrutinzed.

robert hartfield_3
7/20/2009 12:42:40 PM

Germany had this for years. In addition the worker also gets "vacation money" -making the paid vacation package equivalent to getting time and a half. Our President also copied the "clunker law" from Germany.

7/20/2009 12:33:45 PM

These comments appear that somewhere along the line people missed that this law only affects employers with 50+ employees. In my estimation an employer with 50+ employees is NOT a small business. Under a normal economy, if you are not happy with your job you traditionally look for a better one. However, with our current unemployment numbers, jobs are few and far between. With our current population numbers, employees are a dime a dozen. This creates such a big gap between workers and jobs that employers (of 50+ people) can offer few benefits and still retain good employees just because the employee NEEDS the income. Wal-Mart is a big offender when it comes to benefits. A lack of benefits, which includes vacation among other things, lowers the standard of living for lower and middle class workers thus making a bigger gap between wealthy and middle (poor) class. You can bet your bottom dollar that the wealthy are receiving vacation pay and many other benefits. Wal-Mart is a big offender when it comes to benefits. Sometimes we do need the government to step in to protect a class of people from being taken advantage of. This time it is the working class. Vacation (paid time off from work) is extremely important to the mental and physical health of the worker. I work 40 hours a week and do get 2 weeks paid time off. I work for a company that has less than 25 employees and is doing well as a company even in these tough economic times. I figure that out of 52 weeks in a year, there are only 2 weeks that I don’t have to go to work. I usually take 1 of these weeks and work around the house often working a lot harder than I would have worked if I had gone to work!! But that is by choice.

7/20/2009 12:31:48 PM

There is no mention in the text of the bill for reporting from the companies impacted by this legislation. Most everyone knows that the government does not mandate behaviors without demanding documentation. This bill will ultimately require lots of that and the costs incurred will allow the reasoning by companies to standardized vacation plans in most companies following the minimum vacation as specified by congress to limit reporting liabilities by the companies. So if you work for a company with a good vacation plan you should enjoy it while you can. Bscause if this bill passes you could see you vacation dwindle to two weeks maximum.

david posival
7/20/2009 12:19:00 PM

I agree our government is rapidly turning this into a socialist country, where personal initiative, and responsibility are required of a very few well motivated people. The rest of the country wants to go about crying as victims of one injustice or unfairness after another, and wanting something for nothing. Government acquiescing to this kind of behavior is rapidly turning the hardworking classes into victims of socialism. We will soon reach a point where the incentive to provide goods and services, will be overridden by government taking an ever-growing portion of earnings, with the result or small business owners cutting back or closing shop. For those people who work less than 40 hours per week but more than 25, lookout, because your employer may decide that you only get three eight hour days per week. That gives you 24 hours per week and someone else gets the rest of your hours. And you no longer qualify for any vacation. Vacation and holiday pay are a matter best settled between the employer and employee. If you agreed to work for a particular amount of wages and hours with or without paid time off, then do your job or develop the initiative to find a job that meets your needs.

bill webster_2
7/20/2009 12:13:42 PM

I live in Canada where the companies have to pay 4% vacation pay yearly, minimum. This a must for a sane society to maintain it's sanity. Otherwise we would be all driving each other mad and in divorce court. I can't believe the U.S. doesn't already have this. But, then again , you don't have universal health care either. Join the 21st century, everyone deserves a vacation and the right to a healthy life.

7/20/2009 12:13:06 PM

I think a good place to begin change would be with all those in DC tranisition to OUR retirement system (SS) - then while we are there let's make their retirement more in line with the majority of us - Years of service = X amount of pension - not serve a term and make that amount when you retire and then when you pass on if your spouse is still alive they get a good portion of that - and wait exactly how much do you put in towards your retirement? Oh and I have one more question - when you go home for a weekend - is that on our dime - I think it is so am I correct that you take the most economical means of transportation and if you don't you pay the difference? How about letting WE THE PEOPLE Decide on the raises, benefits, etc. THEN We can look at trying to control whether someone putting in 25 hrs/wk deserves/warrants a paid vacation. Not to mention what it will do to the overhead costs - - oh whats a few billion more.... It's time we all start to stand up and ask questions adn we need to demand not only answers but action!

7/20/2009 11:51:13 AM

So let me get this straight? The government can tell a business that it is paying an employee too much or too little. The government can tell a business it charges too much or too little for its product. The government can tell a business that it must pay its employee a specific amount or be fined. The government can tell a business that it must adhere to a zillion different laws that end up punishing the business for it's productivity and now the government wants to tell a business that it must provide certain benefits to its employess? Last I checked paid vacation was a benefit and not every employer makes it available. Sure the better companies offer it and it is called competition otherwise known as capitolism. Business have the freedom to offer a wide variety of benefits in order to recruit the best employees it can. Employees have the freedom to not work for a company. I can't help but wonder how long it will be before the government runs all of the companies out of business?????? For the record, government keeps getting bigger and bigger so it can be assured it will have a function. Which is why it can not eliminate wasteful spending, red tape regulation and hair brained schemes. Government is a necessary evil and it should always remain small and non intrusive.

rosemary schmidt_3
7/20/2009 11:35:51 AM

the government shouldnt be making laws that force people unless they are breaking essential laws which denote them to be a criminal. The powers that be want to turn all of us into sheep by handing things to us so that we are lazy and happy to be so. What ever happened to the individual who governed himself and earned everything and was proud of himself and his hardworking family?

pam _2
7/20/2009 10:39:41 AM

Where in the Constitution does it provide Congress ability to make laws that govern vacation time, free enterprise and trade to harm the people and business? Enough of our entangled octopus government meddling in our lives. Stand up to it! We have been forced by government mafia (who have sworn to supposed allegiance to the Constitution!) and our propagandized media to accept socialist agenda, not FREEDOM. OUR FOREFATHERS WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH THIS ALREADY! Learn more about your Constitution and rights, and alternative media through the Constitution Party, John Birch Society, Campaign for Liberty, Restore the Republic, InfoWars, ChuckBaldwinlive, youngamericansforliberty, worldviewweekend, thenewamerican, wallbuilders, renewamerica, dailypaul and more. All of these are .com's. Get involved in a widespread move to restore our country to the parameters of our Constitution. It is almost too late, but I am driven for our children (heart-cry)!

7/20/2009 10:25:58 AM

Again our government sticks there collective noses where they don't belong and move the U.S. toward a more socialist system. While on one hand the "government" states that it supports small businesses, on the other hand it does almost everything that "it" can to see that they don't succeed. By effectively passing legislation that will put the majority of small businesses out of business.

george works
7/20/2009 10:16:53 AM

I live in the Netherlands Antilles where paid vacation is the law, and I have one farm worker who receives this benefit. When I retired here I believed that this was not properly the government's business, but I've changed my mind about it. My reasons are first, in The Netherlands, worker productivity is about as high as in the US in spite of this (and other) benefits - or perhaps because of them. Workers also tend to live longer than in America, and by most measures are happier. Isn't this a good thing? Is it wrong for a government to require what is demonstrably good for its people? My second reason is that in my own experience low-level workers have very little ability to save money. Many of them here are barely literate and they don't have bank accounts. But they do need time off occasionally to deal with personal matters. Having some vacation pay "banked" with the employer is a real benefit to them as it keeps them out of the hands of the local loan sharks, who prey on the illiterate. I believe secure workers do better work, and are less likely to steal, so it's good for me too.

dawn pfahl
7/20/2009 10:13:36 AM

Julie, You fail to realize one very important fact. Most workers who have part-time jobs are working 2 or more of them. People who work 20 hours at McDonald's might also be working 20 hours at their local drugstore to make ends meet. If neither of those companies offers paid vacation time, the worker will never be able to afford time off. Low-paid employees are already under enough stress trying to make ends meet and trying to improve their situation. Stressed workers are less competent and less productive. I have personal experience with being a part-time worker and I can guarantee that I would NEVER take a day off when I wasn't being paid for it, even when I was at risk of making the entire office sick, or missing an important family event by going to work - the pay was needed so badly that I couldn't justify missing a few hours. Especially in this economy, we need to do everything we can to ensure that the bottom of the economic pyramid - the minimum-wage workers - have enough resources to survive and keep producing, because if THEY fail, the entire system will fall. As it stands, we're watching the roof fall in, not the foundation. Support the individual and encourage cooperation between small businesses and their employees, and we'll grow a stronger economy for the future instead of being stepped on by ever-growing corporations. This debate is absurd. Everyone contributes; everyone should be rewarded for their contribution. And that should include some affordable (read: paid) time off every once in a while.

7/20/2009 10:11:21 AM

I just spent 15 days in the Grand Circle. Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Capital Reef National Parks. Half of the visitors were foreigners because most Americans do not have enough vacation time to travel that far. If I worked for a regular company I could have NEVER done that unless I had worked for them some 10, 15 or 20 years. Listen, the reason the government feels the NEED to pass this law is because greedy corporate companies DO NOT give their employees enough vacation. Most of those same corporations expect you to work as many hours as it takes to get the job done. Significantly more than 40! I was just offered a job recently and get this; it came with just ONE week of vacation for the first five years! I told him I want that every year. This issue is just one slice of our way of life guys. The irony is that employees would be better workers with more time off. More relaxed, fulfilled and happier. This is one of the primary reasons that on the happiness scale, America is way, way down the list.

pam _2
7/20/2009 10:09:43 AM

Where in the Constitution does it provide Congress ability to make laws that govern vacation time, free enterprise and trade to harm the people and business? Enough of our entangled octopus government meddling in our lives. Stand up to it! We have been forced by government mafia (who have sworn to supposed allegiance to the Constitution!) and our propagandized media to accept socialist agenda, not FREEDOM. OUR FOREFATHERS WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH THIS ALREADY! Learn more about your Constitution and rights, and alternative media through the Constitution Party, John Birch Society, Campaign for Liberty, Restore the Republic, InfoWars, ChuckBaldwinlive, youngamericansforliberty, worldviewweekend, thenewamerican, wallbuilders, renewamerica, dailypaul and more. All of these are .com's. Get involved in a widespread move to restore our country to the parameters of our Constitution. It is almost too late, but I am driven for our children (heart-cry)!

james holt
7/20/2009 10:02:57 AM

No, the burden already placed upon the backs of the small business owner has caused too many to close their doors. Yes, the rest of the Nations in the western world have paid vacations and government ordered medical care, but they also have tax rates over fifty percent of their individual incomes. The idea of mandated vacations coming from the State of Florida-how self serving, how about we have a bill requiring every person to spend three minutes a day gambling to support those states that have legal gambling, or every male required to use a legal house of ill repute at least once a year, or every female required to purchase at least one hat every year to support the hat industry. We, the people of America need to drain the swamp of self serving political hacks before the dream of America disappears. Thanks

pam _2
7/20/2009 9:44:29 AM

Where in the Constitution does it provide Congress ability to make laws that govern vacation time, free enterprise and trade to harm the people and business? Enough of our entangled octopus government meddling in our lives. Stand up to it! We have been forced by government mafia (who have sworn to supposed allegiance to the Constitution!) and our propagandized media to accept socialist agenda, not FREEDOM. OUR FOREFATHERS WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH THIS ALREADY! Learn more about your Constitution and rights, and alternative media through the Constitution Party, John Birch Society, Campaign for Liberty, Restore the Republic, InfoWars, ChuckBaldwinlive, youngamericansforliberty, worldviewweekend, thenewamerican, wallbuilders, renewamerica, dailypaul and more. All of these are .com's. Get involved in a widespread move to restore our country to the parameters of our Constitution. It is almost too late, but I am driven for our children (heart-cry)!

7/20/2009 9:32:18 AM

I think the government is getting into the business matters too much. When I was growing up it was a goal to find a job that would pay for your vacations.....insurance...sick leave and other benefits. It was something that you "worked toward"...not something that is automatically given to you. I think this country has moved into the state where everyone wants a "free ride". It just seems that no one has to set goals for themselves anymore.

7/20/2009 9:25:44 AM

It should be up to the individual business However If you don't know a persons personnel life, statements like (People who work less than 40 hours a week are already getting a vacation - every week)really don't know the situations or have the right to say that, I work outside the home 28 hrs a week in a small business to help with our finances at home.I work the rest of the time raising our 5 children all under 10 on a 10 acre farm that is in constant need of something or another. The business I work for has not been affected by the recession and they offer vacations for all part time workers who have been there over a year. Everyone deserves a Vacation.

denise dennis_2
7/20/2009 9:16:03 AM

It might seem like a burden on businesses to provide paid vacation time; however for years my husband and I have both worked very high stress professions. We have to earn our paid vacation with what alot of companies call "earn time" or "paid time off". Even when trying to get the time off to take our vacations, tend to be a battle with the companies we work for. It is not just "take off" when you want it is "request" and "maybe" it will be approved. This makes it hard to make ANY advance plans for a enjoyable relaxing vacation. We both work "HARD" in our jobs, and feel that since we DON'T get bonuses, stock options or other paid "bennies". YES WE DO FEEL WE DESERVE A PAID VACATION!! It has been proven that Americans take less vacations then any other working class people in the world. Since we are a society where both husband and wife in most cases have to work, the vacation time off is invaluable for "family" time. There have been times over the years when neither of us were able to get vacation off at the same time. Not good for our relationship or that of our whole family. WE WORK FOR IT WE SHOULD GET IT!! Vacation is we believe essential for stress reduction and peace of mind, body and soul. On the other hand, I have also had vacations where I returned MORE exhausted then before we left...lol. Thanks

brenda wall
7/20/2009 8:52:40 AM

The government forcing business to pay employees to not work is the government interfering in our lives and ability to earn a living. Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat in this tough economy. We are already being forced to pay more in taxes, and pay more in the increase of minimum wage. If we have to pay our employees to not work, it is only going to increase prices and essentially cause small businesses to go under by not being able to compete with big business. Those employees they are trying to help, will lose their jobs and force a permanent vacation.

tony deckard
7/20/2009 8:52:33 AM

I am self employed. Nobody pays me to take time off, pays for my health care, or half my taxes. Businesses pay a higher tax rate than individuals. Businesses pay a chunk of their employee's taxes. And now, with the current administration, it's only going to more burdensome on a business. When will people wake up and take control of their own lives? Vacation is not a right. If more people did for themselves rather than relying on a government, we wouldn't be headed for a socialistic state. In case I haven't made it clear, I'm opposed. Tony

7/20/2009 8:49:28 AM

Again our government sticks there collective noses where they don't belong and move the U.S. toward a more socialist system. While on one hand the "government" states that it supports small businesses, on the other hand it does almost everything that "it" can to see that they don't succeed. By effectively passing legislation that will put the majority of small businesses out of business.

7/20/2009 8:40:21 AM

I'm a small business owner struggeling to just get by due to the recession. If this law had already been in effect I would have had to close my doors because I just couldn't afford it.

7/20/2009 8:36:10 AM

Vacation should be considered a "right" for the worker just as minimum wage is. If a person only works 25 hours a week, they should only be paid 25 hours for their vacation week. Every company should offer vacation for permanent staff even if the worker is just permanent part-time. These people report to work when they are supposed to and often cannot afford to take time off without pay. In the grand scheme of things, this is a small cost to the employer. Management probably spends more money on frivolous things such as golf outings and luncheons than what the vacation time would cost the company. The worker's rights are slowly slipping away.

julie casey
7/20/2009 8:26:11 AM

People who work less than 40 hours a week are already getting a vacation - every week. They definitely don't deserve to get paid more for not working! As for full time employees, i.e. those who work 40 hours per week, paid vacation and other such perks should be used as incentives for getting better jobs, working harder, etc. If everyone were guaranteed paid vacations, many people would stop working to improve themselves and their company.

7/20/2009 8:13:43 AM

Not only is it interferrence in the free market, but it goes to show that there is a large segment of the legislative body that doesn't give two hoots to a hollar whether or not people will even have a job. Forcing small business to bear this extra cost would put the very people you want to give a vacation to, out of a job... a permanent vacation. Oh, wait, they could then work for the government. You don't see people working for themselves getting that type of time off. It's time that the business man stops being cast in the role of villian. Becky

pat miketinac
7/17/2009 9:46:30 PM

No, it is just more government interference in the free market. That should be between the employer and employee to the benefit of both.

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