Enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday—a much needed four-day weekend, or at the very least, a rare but welcome mid-week paid day off? Me too (you know, except for this post), but while I appreciate the opportunity to sleep in and unwind and all, it's also a reminder that most Americans just work too damn hard.
Forget about the French and their notoriously long vacations. By law British workers get a minimum of 28 days of paid leave a year, the hard-working Germans, 4 work weeks plus at least 9 paid holidays. Here in the US the legal minimum is zero. Sure, most US employers offer a minimum of 10 paid vacation days by custom, but you know, only if you're classified as a full-time salaried employee. The steadily increasing percentage of workers classified as contractors or part-timers get squat—a third of all women and a quarter of all men receive no paid vacation time.
I know, I know... with unemployment hovering around 8 percent I should just feel damn lucky to have a job at all, especially in a dying industry like journalism. But here's a thought: If the rest of us weren't working such long hours with so few days off, perhaps there would be more jobs to go around! Not to mention a damn more relaxed, refreshed, happy, and productive workforce.
A little something extra to chew on with your Thanksgiving turkey.