Labor & Employment
Time-Out Time for No-Vacation Nation?
Posted Jul 3, 2007 4:26 PM CST
By Martha Neil
When is a vacation not a vacation? When non-exempt employees paid by the hour are hovering over their BlackBerries or taking questions from the office by cell phone, for one thing.
So, as the 4th of July holiday looms, one law firm recommends, well-advised employers should give some thought to whether their company's vacation policy accords with the realities of modern workplace technology, reports the Boston Globe. Even exempt employees should be considered to be working if they are expected to be on call, or put in significant amounts of time while on "vacation," Nixon Peabody advises.
Meanwhile, an advocacy group contends, this "no-vacation nation" needs a federal law requiring employers to give workers three weeks off annually, reports the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. Currently, there is no law requiring U.S. employers to give workers any time off, either as a vacation or on holidays, points out Take Back Your Time.
In addition to promoting a vacation law, the Seattle-based group hopes to make lack of vacation an issue in the upcoming presidential election next year. The U.S. ranks dead last among the world's 21 wealthiest countries when it comes to giving workers time off from their jobs, it says.