As summer winds down so will vacation season, but a Department of Labor report has found that only 59 percent of workers have access to paid leave. As a firm that deals in workplace issues, such as discrimination and wage disputes, we have an interest in vacation leave as well. Notably in regards to paid leave, the lower levels of income are less likely to have the option of paid leave.
Nearly three-quarters of employees with bachelor's degrees have paid time off, but only 35 percent of workers with only a high school diploma do. The educational gap in employment is a serious one, and lower-wage jobs, such as hourly positions, are far less likely to have benefits. In addition, workers in management, business or finance are more likely to receive paid benefits. In regards to demographics, men and women and blacks and whites have roughly the same access to paid leave.
In Europe, workers get an astounding 20 days (at least) per year. American workers are not guaranteed paid leave in any position. This means that taking time off for vacations requires sacrificing income for almost 60 percent of workers in the U.S. However, vacations aren't the only reason to take time off -- illness, bereavement, appointments, sick children -- all cost the worker time, and as they say "time is money."
Without paid benefits, such as time off for vacations and other causes, families can end up in difficult situations, both personally and financially. It is important to have steady wages and be fairly paid for your work. Hopefully, following the example of European countries, American workers will have guaranteed paid time off some time soon.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Fewer than 6 in 10 U.S. workers allowed paid time off," Tiffany Hsu, Aug. 17, 2012
- Our firm represents clients facing problems in their workplace, such as wage and hour claims, unpaid overtime and meal and break claims, as well as class action suits. Visit our Los Angeles class action page for additional information.