#1 Alan Grayson to introduce Paid Vacation Act05-21-2009, 12:03 PMAlan Grayson to introduce Paid Vacation Act
By ERIKA LOVLEY | 5/21/09 4:28 AM EDT Text Size:
Rep. Alan Grayson was standing in the middle of Disney World when it hit him: What Americans really need is a week of paid vacation.
So on Thursday, the Florida Democrat will introduce the Paid Vacation Act — legislation that would be the first to make paid vacation time a requirement under federal law.
The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they’ve put in a year on the job. Three years after the effective date of the law, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and companies with 50 or more employees would have to provide one week.
The idea: More vacation will stimulate the economy through fewer sick days, better productivity and happier employees.
“There’s a reason why Disney World is the happiest place on Earth: The people who go there are on vacation,” said Grayson, a freshman who counts Orlando as part of his home district. “Honestly, as much as I appreciate this job and as much as I enjoy it, the best days of my life are and always have been the days I’m on vacation.”
According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 28 million Americans — or about a quarter of the work force — don’t get any paid vacation. The center says that a lack of vacation causes stress and workplace burnout and that those evil twins cost the economy more than $300 billion each year.
One more if-you’re-reading-this-then-you’re-probably-not-on-vacation fact: The United States is dead last among 21 industrial countries when it comes to mandatory R&R.
France currently requires employers to provide 30 days of paid leave.
Not surprisingly, some in the travel industry are salivating over Grayson’s bill; Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski said the U.S. Tour Operators Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association are both on board. Other tourism and labor groups are expected to sign on in the coming days.
The U.S. Travel Association has not yet endorsed the measure, but Senior Vice President Geoff Freeman says Congress does need to consider new ways to stimulate the vacation industry and travel economy.
So far, no group has come out in opposition of the bill. Nor has anyone announced opposition to roller coaster rides, cookouts on the beach or salt-water taffy on the boardwalk.
05-21-2009, 01:41 PM
Well, I get no paid vacation days,and no paid sick days either. I wouldn't mind getting some time off now and then...The problem in the next four years will be not just that the president of the United States serially does not tell the truth. Instead, the real crisis in our brave new relativist world will be that those who demonstrate that he is untruthful will themselves be accused of lying. - Victor Davis Hanson
05-21-2009, 01:47 PM
Yay, free government mandated vacations!! Don't stop there, 30 hour work weeks, oh boy! How about 2 hour lunches! And we can drive to Disney in our mandated clown car! :D
:Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
” I wondered why the rock was getting larger. Then it hit me.
05-21-2009, 01:53 PM
I've worked at a union job for 22 years-I accrue leave hours at an incredible rate (7.5 hours every 2 weeks), so much so that I give them away to coworkers who have emergencies (so I don't cap out).
When I worked last for the private sector, I worked at K-Mart. If I had stayed there a full year, I would have gotten vacation hours. I thought most companies provided that type of benefit to all of their full-time employees.
05-21-2009, 09:09 PMThe problem in the next four years will be not just that the president of the United States serially does not tell the truth. Instead, the real crisis in our brave new relativist world will be that those who demonstrate that he is untruthful will themselves be accused of lying. - Victor Davis Hanson
05-22-2009, 11:38 AM
I retired in 2003 for health reasons. At the time I was a Senior Software Engineer. I was well paid and received decent benefits. I've worked for a couple big corporations with great benefits but the freedom I found at a small shop made up for the modest benefits.
In 1976, when I left the service, I was still a young kid and I wanted too do something other than electronics repair. So I went to work for Otis Engineering on a wire-line crew. That was one of the hardest and most dangerous jobs in the oil field at the time. There aren't a lot of men who could stand up to that job, day in and day out for more than a couple years; it was that hard. We'd go out to a rig to do our thing and stay until we were finished; maybe a couple days, maybe a couple months. We worked a minimum of 12 hours a day, usually 16, but sometimes 18 hours a day doing dangerous, back breaking work.
Here's the kicker. We were paid sliding scale. The first 40 I got around 5 1/2 bucks an hour. Once I got over 40 hours, I started getting paid less per hour. It was progressive. As the hours accumulated, the hourly wage continued to drop and the benefits sucked as well. This for a very dangerous and extremely physically demanding job.
I learned a very valuable lesson working on a wire-line crew. An education gives you more than a paycheck. It lets you tell people who want to pay you less than you're worth and give you crappy benefits where they can stick their job. If someone wants a job with great benies, get an education. Don't depend on the nanny state telling your boss to give them to you. With a good education you can negotiate a better deal than the nanny state will ever get you.Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
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