Orlando Congressman Introduces Paid Vacation Bill

According to an article in a recent issue of The American Prospect, America sits as the only industrialized nation that does not require employers to provide paid vacation time workers. This is something Congressman Alan Grayson wishes to change, as he introduced a bill last week that would mandate just that.

Grayson, a Representative from Orlando, introduced the bill into the House in response to rising concerns that many workers do not get any paid vacation time at all. Noting the laws in other nations, including China and Germany, Grayson contemplated why the United States with all its success lags behind in providing paid days off.

The bill would require all employers that have 100 or more employees to guarantee one week of paid vacation for each employee after one year of service. Three years after the bill is signed into law, it would expand to include any employer with 50 or more employees and provide 2 weeks paid vacation for any company with 100 or more employees.

Grayson was allegedly inspired by a recent family trip to Disney World, commenting on the importance of time off for working families, and to allow workers to strike a more flexible balance between work and home. This bill is particularly important for guaranteeing rights of part-time employees, who are rarely afforded benefits or any paid vacation time. While many white-collar workers are given this time already by their employers, many lower income employees do not receive these benefits and cannot afford to take such time off. This creates a profound imbalance in the work place, greatly affecting those that already receive less pay.

How do you feel about this legislation? Is this an important step forward for workers rights to ensure vacation time, or a sign of government intrusion into the workings of private companies?