Vacation Nation

Michael Yessis at World Hum asks:

Is Summer Now the ‘Vacation Deprivation’ Season?

imageFor U.S. citizens, it seems, but not Europeans. While most of our overseas counterparts get at least 20 guaranteed vacation days each year, and while Italian lawmakers are proposing to add seven new holidays to the country’s slate, Americans seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Last month the Center for Economic and Policy Research released its No-Vacation Nation report, which reveals that the U.S. is “the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation.” Those that do have vacation time aren’t taking it all, or are taking working vacations.

Mexico isn’t included in the No-Vacation Nation Report.

Under the Mexican Federal Labor Code, Ley Federal del Trabajo, employees are entitled to:

  • After a full year of employment, six days.
  • For each subsequent year of employment, vacation increases by two days up to a total to twelve.
  • After the fourth year of employment, the vacation increases by two days for every five years of service.  

But there’s more. The employee is entitled not only to paid vacation, but also bonus pay of not less than 25% over the regular salary during those vacation days.

And all of this is enhanced by the federal holidays:

  • January 1, New Year’s Day
  • The first Monday in February, Constitution Day
  • The third Monday in March, Benito Juarez’ birthday
  • The first of May, Labor Day
  • September 16, Independence Day
  • The third Monday in November, Revolution Day
  • December 25, Christmas Day
  • And, every six years, December 1, for the Presidential Inauguration

Of course, like all legislation, the Labor Code is replete with exemptions, granting some workers less and others more, defining which workers are and aren’t eligible. Not everyone who works receives benefits, and not everyone who hires is obligated to pay benefits. And union contracts and other terms of hire can spell even more than the legally-mandated minimums. And, of course, there are many who don’t get any as well as employers who flout the law.

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