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Monday, August 11, 2014

All Americans Should Have Paid Vacation Days

Posted by on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

VOX: is sponsoring a petition drive they're calling the Vacation Equality Project, calling on the White House and Congress to support mandatory paid vacation for Americans—something essentially every other developed country has. This is in part a publicity stunt and in part an email list building enterprise, but it's at least a little bit a genuine lobbying endeavor and it's an interesting one at that.... And what better champion for the cause of more vacation than

Go to the Vacation Equality Project's website and click on the petition and you're taken to So while would clearly benefit if more Americans got paid vacations, this doesn't seem like an "email list building enterprise." It's not altruism, of course, but sometimes a corporation's interests actually kindasorta align with the interests of the average working American. So why not go ahead and sign the petition?


Comments (54) RSS

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Hmmm, almost as if they realized that their long-term viability as a company can't be sustained by catering luxury to a group of a few hundred extremely rich people but rather is tied to having a broad cross-section of middle-class customers who require the use of their product on a fairly regular basis.
Sounds like they've gone communist or something.
Posted by usagi on August 11, 2014 at 10:17 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 2
All Americans should have a lot of things. It's not going to happen, but at least this push has the support of a big industry with a lot of money to throw at politicians.
Posted by MacCrocodile on August 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Bullshit. Really a steaming smelly pile of bullshit.

Even by Little Danny Boy the Savage standards of entitled bullshit, this is purest product from a male bovines rear end.

Want a vacation? Save YOUR money. Ask YOUR boss for the time. And keep ME our of it. Vacation is a luxury, not a goddamn right you liberal numbskulls.

While we're at it, having kids, owning a home, health care, food and all the other things liberal trash think nobody should ever work for? Not rights either, halfwits.

And for the record, if the rest of the damn world is your standard, move. Get out of my country, you worthless whining pathetic excuses for decent human beings. Leave this country to hard working, moral decent Americans and just get the hell out, losers.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM · Report this

ya, because ONLY the evil rich get vacation time.

(((((Rolls eyes)))))

Posted by lets hand out more free shit to those who dont earn it on August 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM · Report this
rob! 5
In other hospitality news: Critics Blame Airbnb For San Francisco's Housing Problems.
…The city's nearly 3 percent vacancy rate is already one of the lowest in the nation. It's also got some of the most expensive median rents at nearly $3,300 per month…
Yet, as the transcript makes clear, "some landlords have found that renting apartments through these brokers on a nightly basis can bring in a lot more money than renting to long-term tenants."
Posted by rob! on August 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Hernandez 6
Even among Americans who have employer provided paid vacation, people aren't using all the time off they're getting. If I worked in the hotel business, I'd probably be lobbying hard for this too.
Posted by Hernandez on August 11, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this

I hope you die alone in a gutter.
Posted by Solk512 on August 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM · Report this
venomlash 8
Shorter #3:
"Fuck you, I got mine."
Posted by venomlash on August 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 9
@6 This is true. I used to cash out a week or more of vacation (when I got it) each year. Many of my co-workers did the same.
"Going on vacation" means spending a ton of money on airfare & lodging, and many destinations have high tourist taxes (rental cars & hotels). That paid week of vacation ends up costing an additional 2+ weeks wages. With retirement accounts wiped out by the Great Recession, people are making the economic decision to save or pay off debt instead of travel.
Posted by Sir Vic on August 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM · Report this
I do hope that every employee at gets the amount of paid vacation time they believe that others should provide. Inquiring minds do want to know...
Posted by RDPence on August 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Report this
@3: You're a complete fucking idiot. The most basic human right is the right to kids. If you don't think that's a right, your morality is bankrupt. GTFO of civilization.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on August 11, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
rob! 12
When I left my last research job I had 560 hours (about 3½ months) of unused leave cashed out, and that was after I donated 100 hours to the pool for employees with serious illness, family crises, etc.

That was a bargain for my employer. For me to take one week of paid leave meant three weeks of lost productivity—it took a week beforehand to bring work in progress to a graceful end, put cell cultures to bed, etc.; then the week off; then a week upon returning to crank everything back up again.

It ought to be against the law for employers to take away unused leave above some arbitrary level they set. And some employers begin reducing department budgets by the amount of "excessive" annual leave as a pressure tactic.

Life is complicated.
Posted by rob! on August 11, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 13
@3: No one is asking you to do a fucking thing, and no one is taking anything from you.

What the fuck are you even mad about, exactly? That maybe people poorer than you can enjoy life a little as well? You are a sick little boy.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on August 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 14

Have you ever heard of a staycation? I haven't traveled anywhere in a year and a half, but I've always used my vacation time.


If this country ever decides to join the rest of the civilized world, part of the mandated vacation time should require employees to take their time. If you have a month, and it's December 1st, and you haven't taken your time yet, that's it. Your employer is legally required not to let you come in.

That's the only way I can see this actually working, placing the onus on the employer to encourage you/require you to take the time when it's not totally inconvenient for the employer, or else the employer will have empty desks for the entire month of December.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM · Report this
" The most basic human right is the right to kids. "

No one said they couldn't breed them, just don't ask the more productive members of society to bathe, clothe and feed them. And if you do, at least send the buggers over to cut the lawn or send a thank you note, rather than break into my car.
Posted by Sugartit on August 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM · Report this
Representative Gael Tarleton has a bill in the WA legislature that would mandate paid vacations. Please support it. I expect more from STRANGER readers than the incomparable idiocy represented by #3 stupid comments.
Posted by John de Graaf on August 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Either that or Seattle Blues is a terrific satirist. I hope that's the case, but suspect he is simply a greedy bastard instead. Vacation is a right in all but 5 countries on Earth. the US is one; the other four are Suriname, Guyana, Nepal and Burma. It might be worth leaving this country just to get away from Neanderthals like S Blues (aka #3).
Posted by John de Graaf on August 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM · Report this
cressona 18
Keshmeshi @14, great point. I think there's been a false assumption on the part of a lot of Americans (myself included) that vacation time has to be spent on traveling. And then people get overextended because they don't get around to doing the things they needed time at home to do. The great thing about Seattle is, in the summer, you'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer place to travel to.

RDPence @10: I do hope that every employee at gets the amount of paid vacation time they believe that others should provide. Great question. Great point wrapped in a leading question. I would guess that a sizable portion of's workforce is contractors, so for them the answer would be no, but gets by on a technicality.

My note about contracting raises another reality of our dystopian present. One nice thing about contract work is that, if you're getting paid well enough, you can afford to take unpaid time off between contracts. You wind up with a more sustainable rhythm than staff people. The problem is that gaps in employment count against you in today's job market, so unless you have another gig lined up, the longer you take off, the less you're able to relax.
Posted by cressona on August 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM · Report this
rob! 19
@14, definitely agree that it's best for people to receive a generous amount of paid leave and be strongly encouraged to take it for family/mental-health reasons—that includes managing in such a way (cross-training, sufficient staffing levels, etc.) that middle management can't interfere with the purpose of leave (by strong-arming people not to take it) in order to make themselves look better.

I earned about 42 weeks of AL over 16 years and did take roughly 24, plus some comp time and unpaid leave to help with budgets. Looking back I feel nostalgic. Just having the option is a good thing and improves how you feel about your job.
Posted by rob! on August 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 20
I saw the headline and knew stupid ol' SB would have something to say. Something where he takes the credit for the work done by his employees to justify his theft of their fair wages and time. $100 says he has diagnosable NPD.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 11, 2014 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Hotels (I get the distinction between hotels and but their fates are certainly tied) would certainly benefit from increased vacation days for workers but keep in mind they also probably have a crapload of employees that currently get no paid time off. I'm not saying they're being entirely charitable but I wouldn't go so far as to say this would be entirely beneficial to them either.
Posted by Root on August 11, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this

An employee agreeing to work for a wage and compensation package equals theft.

Taking the income a hard working diligent taxpayer makes to directly give it to someone who doesn't care to work equals paying one's fair share.

Yep, sounds like the goofy mental processes of a leftist.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 11, 2014 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 23
@ 22, suuuure. Employees and employers negotiate all that on a level playing field, and SB shits rainbows and ice cream sundaes. And you think YOU aren't goofy? Hahahaha
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 11, 2014 at 2:14 PM · Report this
@14 Yeah, this is a hugely important point. Too many employers never make the plans/resources needed to allow employees to take a vacation. How many folks complain about having to take work over from the gal having a kid when the real problem is chronic under staffing and lack of planning?
Posted by Solk512 on August 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 25
I haven't had a vacation in four years, and do you hear me whining about it? Hell no. If I wanted a vacation I would save up for one and get the time off. Instead I'm saving to move out of Seattle when my lease runs out in the winter.
And if politicians somehow managed to pass mandated vacation pay (which will only happen in Seattle, San Fran and a few other liberal cesspools) I wouldn't take it. I had bronchitis a few weeks ago and I needed a week off of work, but did I ask my boss for that stupid paid sick leave shit? HELL NO. My health, my responsibility.
Likewise, I would tell the government to take their paid vacation leave and shove it up their asses. If I want a vacation I would pay for it, and not ask my employer for it.

What the fuck ever happened to a work ethic in this country?
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 11, 2014 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 26
@ 25, you remind me of the horse in Animal Farm.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 27
You remind me of the idiot neighbor in Fahrenheit 451
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 28
I was raised in poverty and worked my way out of it. If poor people want to enjoy the good life they need only avoid being addicted to hard drugs, avoid going to jail and not have kids while they are poor. I did it, and it isn't that hard.
Despite what you may believe, poor people don't need rich white liberals to liberate them. Your racist, colonialist mentality (white man's burden) is noted.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 29
This country is part of the "civilized, socialist world" of "free" didn't exactly work out for them:…
"The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money"-Margaret Thatcher, a worthless bitch for the most part but she did have a point in this regard.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 11, 2014 at 3:14 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 30
@14 I've done the Staycation. It was in Seattle during the first month of August and the weather was perfect.* That's not "Going on Vacation", which is what Hotels,com is certainly trying to push. Hotels,com doesn't really care that people dont get vacation, they care that people don't use vacation to travel.
Others here have hinted at one of main reasons to travel on vacation - eliminate the temptation to "drop by the office" or allow an asshole boss to call you while you're supposed to not be working. We've all been financially squeezed and scared enough recently that cashing out the vacation and staying on the job seems like the smart move.

* Why the fuck do people leave Seattle for Hawaii in the summer?!
Posted by Sir Vic on August 11, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this
@12 I work in a state agency where I not only earn paid sick and vacation days, but they're allowed to accrue. In my 26 years with the same employer, I've taken my share of both, but have never taken all I've earned in a year. I now have about 8 months of leave in the bank, and I'm glad I have it; in the event of a major health emergency, I'll be able to take extended leave with no loss of income.

With all due apologies to Seattleblues, I'm not stealing from anyone. I've earned and saved my vacation and sick days, just as I've earned and saved the money in my retirement accounts. I've got friends and colleagues who take every day of leave as they earn it, and when an emergency comes, they wind up taking unpaid leave because there is nothing left in the bank.
Posted by Clayton on August 11, 2014 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 32
@ 27, hahaha. You would have been better remaining silent than admitting defeat with such a lame response.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 11, 2014 at 4:12 PM · Report this
@28 "I was raised in poverty and worked my way out of it."

Well, you certainly jumped from one form of poverty into another seeing as you haven't had a vacation in four years.

Which kinda explains something. You're entire worldview is built on bitterness. The fact that others do not push to live up to your miserable life standards drives you nuts. You hate it that others can be emotionally fulfilled while not having your values and you've since fell into a deep psychosis of narcissism and delusion.

Just admit that you're a bitter and lonely little man. Certainly, if you had any contact with friends or family here, you might think twice about leaving Seattle. But you obviously don't. You're just a sad little bi-boy who doesn't have anyone to spend time with and a giant collection of katananananas.
Posted by Bloated Jesus is Bloated on August 11, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
venomlash 34
@27, 32: He also reminds himself of Tony Stark. It's cute how he thinks he's all that.

c_s, I once got hit by a truck on the way to work and still made it in and did my job that day. Do you want a cookie for not being a GREAT BIG HUGE GIRL'S BLOUSE?
Here's why paid leave is important. Suppose someone, like you, comes down with bronchitis. If they live paycheck-to-paycheck as many of the working folks do and don't have any paid sick leave, they're faced with either resting and recuperating so that they recover swiftly from the infection...or being able to buy groceries and pay the electric bill for that month. So what do they do? They go to work and hope for the best. And then they infect their coworkers and customers, leading to more lost productivity.
You schlubs are so focused on how you think things should be for you that you lose track of what actually works out best for everyone. Game theory might help you think a little better.

@29: Suuure, blame Greece's problems on the big bad government spending. Go ahead and ignore the exorbitant military spending, the tax evasion (they only manage to collect about HALF of their taxes each year), and the austerity measures --just like the austerity that you small-government types are trying to push back home-- that stalled the economy trying to fix the whole mess.
Posted by venomlash on August 11, 2014 at 8:08 PM · Report this
very bad homo 35
Seattleblues doesn't think anyone else deserves vacation pay, marriage rights, health care, etc. Typical entitled shithead who thinks he's better than everyone else.
Posted by very bad homo on August 11, 2014 at 9:01 PM · Report this
I would just like to mention that I am an American who has lived in Europe for the past 8 years. I get 27 days of vacation every year.

It is glorious.
Posted by Life Size on August 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM · Report this
I am European and I get 25 days of paid vacation every year... I do not travel and I usually have staycations...A rested and happy employee is the biggest asset for a company. Good to know that the USA is one the same level as Burma, Nepal, Suriname and Guyana : under developped and poor.
Posted by chaya760 on August 12, 2014 at 12:44 AM · Report this

I am European too. I fled because starting business and hiring people was insanely expensive, taxes were crushing and the government bureaucracy was crazy.

Loving the freedom that is the USA!
Posted by Plus I get paid vacation on August 12, 2014 at 8:53 AM · Report this
...and pto reliably increases productivity. So the big stand against paid leave isn't about profits, it's purely about sticking it to workers.
Posted by mage on August 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM · Report this
"The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money"
Yeah, and the trouble with capitalism is that eventually you run out of your own money. Now, which do you think is more likely; that a single person will run out of money, or that everyone will?
Posted by seilo on August 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM · Report this
6 41
@40 xo
Posted by 6 on August 12, 2014 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Has anyone ever seen SB and Mittens RobMe in the same place at the same time?
Posted by kwodell on August 12, 2014 at 5:17 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 43
Then don't live paycheck to paycheck and/or get a union to work out paid sick leave for you based on tenure. I have nothing against the idea of paid sick leave, but the government shouldn't force an employer to do it. That's why when I got sick I told the government to shove the paid sick leave up their asses.

And yes, socialism (entitlements) killed Greece. Military spending in America is also absurd and which is why, as a libertarian, I support gutting the imperial budget (I refuse to call it defense. Who the fuck are we defending ourselves from? )
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 12, 2014 at 8:06 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 44
And if I run out of money (it's happened) I just make more. What's more likely: someone running out of money being able to get more or a whole society that is so bogged down in debt they can't get out making more money?
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 12, 2014 at 8:07 PM · Report this
rob! 45
@31: Sounds like we were accumulating/using at about the same rate. If I had stayed another four years, I would have jumped to 4 weeks AL/yr. If I'd stayed to 26 years and used about half of the AL earned in that 10-year span, I would have almost exactly 8 mos. still unused!

I don't understand why so many organizations can't seem to, or maybe they just refuse to, handle bookkeeping for long-accumulated leave. In the business world it's the MBA's who've already dipped into pension funds to cover current operating expenses, mergers & acquisitions, and bonuses for themselves who tend to see unused leave as some sort of budgetary dead weight, and when those same MBA's infest academia and government agencies they bring the same attitude with them.
Posted by rob! on August 12, 2014 at 8:07 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 46
Every European immigrant I've ever met has the same story: big government in Europe sucks. I've never, EVER met a European in America who was an American liberal.
If Europe is so great, why do people move here from their all the time but rarely vice versa? One of the many questions liberals can't answer.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 12, 2014 at 8:10 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 47
Oh, and austerity is coming. There is no stopping it. We can either do it the conservative and libertarian way, and use slow reforms to bring government back in line, or wait for it all to collapse and see a situation like Greece happen in the US. Your choice.…
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 48
I moved here from Upstate New York thinking it was a less psychotically liberal version of Portland. It is now worse then even Portland. I'll actually be moving closer to family when my lease runs out and I can leave this liberal cesspool of tofy steaks and political correctness.
But I am a bit bitter: I work to get in a better position, and others demand it without working for it, and the government gives it to them.

Oh, and I don't want a vacation. I get bored without work and would tell them no...if I could. In Europe people can be forced to take holiday. So workaholics have it rough in Europe.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM · Report this
As a Brit who gets 30 days paid annual leave a year plus bank (public) holidays, I think you're all crazy in the US. And people often don't use their annual leave to go away on 'vacation' - people use it to spend time with their kids in the school holidays, to visit family, to do home improvements, when they need to be in at home for things to be delivered, for weddings and birthdays and anniversaries, so they can go to concerts and the theatre and sporting events (or even so they can watch something like the World Cup on TV) or just have a nice lie in when they've been out late the night before.

Last year I used some of my annual leave for a 2 week vacation in the US, this year I'm not going away on holiday at all but have 3 family weddings to attend and am re-decorating, so I'm mainly using it for that.
Posted by rece on August 13, 2014 at 4:38 AM · Report this
venomlash 50
@43: "Then don't live paycheck to paycheck"
Well, now that Americans everywhere have your permission to not be poor, I'm SURE that things will improve!
I'm more curious as to why you think it's okay for unions (which you believe steal from workers) to force businesses to provide paid sick leave but not for the federal government, the highest regulatory authority in the country, to do so.
@46: WELL GOSH DARN, you're surprised that people who left a country maybe have less-than-stellar opinions of the place they left? It's like Geico boasting that people who switched to them saved money; if they didn't stand to save some money, they wouldn't have switched!
People who like a country are going to tend to stay there. People who dislike a country are going to tend to leave. Unless Cuba or North Korea is the country in question.

@47: Bring it on, big guy. You sound like a Communist. "Ooh, it's gonna happen one way or the other, so just give us what we want now and it'll be easier on you."
I have little faith in your prediction that we'll sink to the miserable foolishness of trying to cut our way out of a recession. Did you know that one of the biggest problems with the economy currently is the lack of public sector jobs? The private sector is recovering nicely, but idiots like YOU insist that we need to cut cut cut and certainly can't afford to put people to work overhauling our decaying and outdated infrastructure.
Posted by venomlash on August 13, 2014 at 8:18 AM · Report this
And if I run out of money (it's happened) I just make more.
Great! You're very fortunate. Others are not. I would prefer to have systems in place to help get them back on their feet, and "don't live paycheck to paycheck" falls just a bit short.

And yes, it is possible to fund such systems without going into massive debt to do it. You just have to actually collect taxes and not blow everything you do manage to collect on an oversized military.
Posted by seilo on August 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 52
First, is there just one union? No. Unions compete for membership and people have a choice. If there more than one government? No. Government is a monopoly, and a monopoly on violence none the less.
Unions as private entities should exist and should advocate for workers. And I NEVER said unions steal from workers, only that I personally would never join one. Just as I support gay marriage but would never marry a man (or a woman for that matter) I support workers rights to organize while not wanting to join a union myself.
As for government spending, it does indeed lead to collapse if left unchecked. Not just in Greece. I mean, was Burbank a heaven for "tax dodgers" who are to blame for its bankruptcy? What about the rest of the liberal utopia that is California, how are they doing compared to Texas?…

And there is no need for public sector jobs if the private sector is strong enough. Singapore has a very small public sector, but business there is booming and people have plenty of jobs and the only poverty is from Malaysian immigrants who end up poor but eventually find jobs.
And you never addressed the other issue: what if I don't want a vacation? In Europe, people are forced to take time off. Workaholics are screwed over there.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 14, 2014 at 8:20 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 53
First, it's not just military, its also the arming of people who will be our enemies in a year or two (i.e., the Taliban) Yes, we need to cut the military budget by about 50% and end the overseas empire. But that still isn't enough.…
Posted by collectivism_sucks on August 14, 2014 at 8:22 PM · Report this
venomlash 54
@52: Tonight on Point Versus Counterpoint, we have here collectivism_sucks versus collectivism_sucks. c_s, let's see what you have to say in this thread.
"And I NEVER said unions steal from workers, only that I personally would never join one."
Interesting line of argument. Let's go to what c_s said in this thread.
"Say what you will about CEOs, but at least their salary comes from profits, same as workers, and not directly from essentially extorting workers like unions do. Union bosses make money on the backs of workers."
Truly fascinating. Dear readers, who won that argument? I leave that decision to you.

"As for government spending, it does indeed lead to collapse if left unchecked."
I'd like to know what exactly you mean by this. Of course most things will have bad effects "if left unchecked". I'm wondering what your definition of "unchecked" is with regard to government spending. Despite what you may think, government spending isn't evil in and of itself; it just has to be administered intelligently.
Also, your linked article is a load of tripe. Why? It assumes that Texas and California are perfectly comparable economically apart from their differing approaches to government spending. That's simply not true. California has OVER TWICE the population density of the Lone Star State. Also, it talks only about the relative rates of growth of the states and makes no mention of their current state, conveniently ignoring the fact that Texas's poverty rate is over 1.5x that of California. Next time you want to convince me of something using a slanted opinion piece, please use one that at least makes an effort of intellectual honesty.

As for Singapore, I'm interested to note that your paragon of small government is a semi-authoritarian regime dominated by a single political party known for persistently infringing upon and suppressing press freedom and civil liberties. Not to mention the facts that all male citizens are subject to forced military service, that drug trafficking can get you a mandatory death sentence, and that private ownership of vehicles is strongly restricted. I guess you only care about small government as far as public expenditure goes.
Posted by venomlash on August 14, 2014 at 9:27 PM · Report this

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