No Mandatory Paid Vacation Law in the US. Where It Leads?

Compared to employees in other countries, Americans take relatively fewer vacation days. People who take vacations are usually highly productive and are more likely to get a raise or a promotion.

American firms usually offer very few vacation days. The Bureau of Labour Statistics indicates that 76 percent of private firm workers, who make up 85 percent of all workers, get paid vacation days.

These numbers of days usually grow as years of tenure with an employer grow. Last year, the average worker with a working experience of 5 years in an organization got just 15 days of paid vacation while those who have worked for 20 years get 20 paid vacation days. A study that was done by the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off, over half of Americans didn’t use of all their vacation days.  The US is one of the countries in the world that does not guarantee paid time off according to the Boston Globe report.

The United States is the only economy that is advanced globally that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days. Firms being relied upon to provide paid leave seems to have hit a snug.


Vacation Policies

Vacation policies in 21 developed countries show that it is only the United States that has no legislation that makes employers offer between 10 to 30 vacation paid vacation days a year. It has been estimated that workers receive 13 paid vacation days in a year.

Full time and high wage workers in the United States are more likely to get paid vacation compared to part-time and low wage workers.

Workers who work for large firms are also more likely to get paid vacation days unlike those who work for relatively smaller businesses.

Some American workers also feel that they lack job security to risk being out of work for a short period even when they are entitled to it. Seemingly, employers do not want to give vacation benefits for their employers, and their lacking supportive legislation to handle this issues jeopardizes the employers’ positions.



The Fair Labour Standard Act does not provide a guarantee for payment for time not worked that includes federal holidays, sick leaves and vacations. These benefits are usually matters of agreement between the employee and the employer.

Vacation pay is usually required for specific classification of workers according to labor standards in the Act.


Vacation Days

The number of vacation days that a worker is entitled to be usually based on the years of service to the organization and the level of their position in the firm.

For most of the jobs, paid vacations are usually standard according to employee longevity. Employees begin their jobs with one to two weeks off. As the years of employment go by, the employee becomes eligible for more paid vacation time. These days have a limit.


Negotiating for Paid Vacation Days

Employees can individually negotiate for paid leave days. Senior managers and executive level employees have a higher chance of negotiating for such. In instances where you have accrued vacation days, and you are about to leave an organization, the best thing to do is to negotiate for a standard employment offer that will look a relatively good send-off package.

Employers are already aware that managers and senior employees do not take compensation matters lightly. From past experiences, employers do not like being fair to employees in such circumstances. Baring this in mind, it will be easier for you to negotiate for vacation days and compensation packages.

Paid vacation days can also be negotiated as part of standard union contract on a workplace that has union representation. The only hindrance for these is that they can’t negotiate individually because they are usually standard practices across the board.


In conclusion, with the knowledge that there are no federal laws in the United States that guarantee paid vacation days offers, employees have choices on how to go about. It is vital that such a piece of legislation is introduced. You should know what you cost and if you interested and self development you can read this goals and aspirations essay for a start.


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