, Gloucester, MA


June 1, 2013

Study: US only 'advanced economy' without required paid vacation

Memorial Day has unofficially launched thousands of summer vacations, but about a quarter of all Americans will not be paid while they soak up some rest and relaxation.

A recent study said the United States is the only advanced economy that does not require paid vacation days or holidays.

The report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research revisited a 2007 study that compared the United States with nearly two dozen other countries and also found it to be the only nation that does not require paid vacation or holidays.

The recession-battered U.S. has not closed the gap since 2007, the center’s researchers said, and few companies have boosted employee benefits even as the economy has recovered.

“Relying on businesses to voluntarily provide paid leave just hasn’t worked,” said John Schmitt, senior economist and co-author of the report.

The study’s authors reported that a number of European countries guarantee their workers at least 20 paid vacation days per year. France legally requires 30 paid vacation days.

Canada and Japan guarantee at least 10 paid vacation days per year.

The report also tallied the average number of paid vacation and holidays provided to American workers in the private sector. The total — 16 — would not meet the minimum required by law in 19 countries.

The lack of paid time off is most acute for low-wage workers and employees working for small businesses, according to the report, which found that 49 percent of low-wage workers have paid vacation, compared with 90 percent of higher-wage workers.

Congressman Alan Grayson, D-Fla., has introduced a bill that would require employers to provide one week of paid vacation annually. The bill, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, has most recently been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Visit the Los Angeles Times at Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Business Videos
US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000