Target: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner
Goal: Mandate a minimum number of paid vacation days for U.S. workers
The United States is currently the only developed nation and one of only 13 countries worldwide that does require employers to provide vacation days. While the European Union mandates all employers to give workers at least four weeks of vacation, full-time workers in the United States are lucky to get two while part-time workers often get none at all. Urge the United States government to establish mandatory minimum paid employment leave for both full-time and part-time workers.
Despite the workforce’s exponentially increased productivity over the past few decades through the use of faster and smarter technologies, it seems that workers in the United States are none the better for it. Almost a quarter of employees in the United States do not get any paid time off. Many of the lowest-paid workers only begrudgingly get unpaid time to attend to personal issues such as doctors’ visits, childcare, and recovering during an illness.
The American mentality of hard work for little gain is detrimental to the individual as well as to communities. Many workers are overworked, stressed, and burned out, all of which wreak havoc on the body’s immune system and a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Those who are able to maintain a doable work-life balance are happier, healthier, and more productive. They are able to devote time to their friends and families, explore their hobbies, and learn more about the wonders of the world around them through travel.
Although several policymakers have advocated for mandatory time off, they are always faced by heated opposition from conservatives and corporations who whine that such a law would encourage laziness and socialism as well as cut into profits. It’s clear that the greed of the corporate world, and the government who takes their money and caters to their needs, takes away from the lives and wellbeing of the average workers without whom corporations could not function.
Urge the government to respect workers’ lives, abilities, and freedoms by requiring companies to grant both full-time and part-time workers paid vacation time.
Dear Speaker Boehner,
Workers are valuable. They are assets to a company and bring unique points of view and qualities to work with them every day. Without the average worker, the United States economy would collapse overnight, if not before. Unfortunately, instead of treating employees with respect, many businesses prefer to treat them like interchangeable parts, easily disposed of and unimportant outside of what they can bring to the bottom line. I urge you to join every other developed country in the world by requiring companies to provide their employees, both full-time and part-time, with at least two weeks of paid vacation time every year.
The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It boasts of being a land of freedom, where people are given the opportunity to pursue happiness and relish life. In reality, however, it has become a nation focused on only a very few things: work, work, and more work. Despite the well-documented benefits of time off for workers’ health, productivity, and happiness, the United States does not mandate vacation time, personal time, sick time, or parental leave or limit the number of hours that can be worked in a week. Currently one fourth of America’s workers do not receive a single paid day off.
For a land with such a vibrant culture, rich history, and commendable ideals, the United States has yet to live up to its potential, and is falling behind other countries that value their workers as individuals. It’s time for a change in our national mentality about work and its place in our lives. Start by establishing a minimum paid employment leave of at least two weeks starting at the time of employment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: KVDP via Wikipedia Commons