Unlimited Vacation Time: How Do PTO Policies Work in Practice?

The disparities are profound: A 2021 report from the Economic Policy Institute showed that two-thirds of workers in low-wage jobs didn’t have access to paid sick days even during the pandemic; a 2022 report from the Center for American Progress detailed that 37% of Black women who need leave don’t take it, and many have to go on leave without pay.

Huckelbridge outlines various kinds of paid leave, including paid time off, bereavement, vacation, and sick leave; but what Paid Leave for All generally means, she says, is paid time off to care for yourself, a new child, or a loved one dealing with a serious health condition. This underscores that no one should be haggling for paid time off amid the many moving pieces and needs that make up a life.

How do you know what kinds of leave you have?

Sturman says there are questions to consider about the leave policies at your job: “What sort of notice or permission do you need for taking vacation or sick days? Who do you need to ask? Who needs to approve it? How far in advance do you need to ask for vacation time?” This should be spelled out in an employee handbook, Sturman adds. 

And especially for employees new to the workforce, paying attention to leave details is crucial, such as differences between sick leave, vacation, and holidays, and how leave fits into a larger benefits package. “In short, don’t just assume that the company is going to be generous and help you out when you are sick or need a break,” Sturman says. With many hourly jobs, there is no paid time off, he says. “When faced with costs for rent, food, student loans, and so forth, many people simply can’t afford to take what might

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A Filipino company gave some employees a week of extra paid leave as a prize in its holiday raffle

Woman with hat sits on seashore, Ffryes Beach, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean, Leeward Islands, West Indies

Roberto Moiola/Sysaworld via Getty Images

  • A Filipino makeup company raffled off days of paid leave at its holiday party.

  • Colourette gave out five additional days of paid vacation to three members of staff.

  • “We should give out more of these next year!,” CEO Nina Cabrera posted on Facebook.

A Filipino makeup company gave out extra days of paid leave as a prize for staff in its holiday raffle.

Nina Cabrera, the CEO of Colourette, said on LinkedIn that raffle prizes at its holiday party had included giving five additional days of paid vacation to three members of staff. The winners can use the extra days at any time in 2023.

“We should give out more of these next year!,” Cabrera posted on Facebook.

She also posted a video of the raffle on TikTok, which got more than 8,000 likes.

Workers in the Philippines are entitled to five days of paid leave each year, which can be taken as vacation or sick leave, if they have worked at their company for at least 12 months, though many companies give more than this. In the US, in contrast, workers are not federally entitled to any days of paid leave.

Colourette, which Cabrera founded in 2015, says on its website that it has “hundreds” of employees.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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California Mandates Bereavement Leave Beginning 2023

Further expanding generous protected employee leaves, California now will require most private employers to provide up to five days of bereavement leave for a covered family member’s death. Assembly Bill 1949, which Governor Newsom signed, takes effect on January 1, 2023.

Background on Bereavement Leave

Before this new law, employee bereavement leave depended entirely on an employer’s policy. California law has not required that private employers provide bereavement leave. Previous efforts to require bereavement leave met with vetoes; Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed bereavement leave bills in 2007 and 2010, with Governor Brown following in 2011. The first bill would have mandated up to four days of unpaid leave, while the others sought up to three days. 

In his 2010 veto of AB 2340, Governor Schwarzenegger stated that “[w]hile well-intentioned, the choice of whether or not to offer unpaid bereavement leave should be left to the employer.” He also expressed concern about imposing “new and somewhat ambiguous burdens on businesses as well as subjecting them to new threats of litigation over California-specific employment laws.” 

In vetoing AB 325 in 2011, Governor Brown responded that granting bereavement leave “is the moral and decent thing to do and I believe that the vast majority of employers voluntarily make such an accommodation for the loss of a loved one” in any event, while also expressing concern over that bill’s provision allowing employees to go directly to court to sue over an alleged violation.

Other than California, only Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland have state bereavement leave laws covering private employers. Illinois’ expanded bereavement leave law also takes effect on January 1, 2023.

What Does AB 1949 Do?

AB 1949 requires most employers to allow employees to take up to five days of bereavement leave as a protected absence upon the death

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New York stillbirth parents call on governor for paid leave

Stillbirth parents in New York want to be recognized − including by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

They are calling on Hochul to support legislation that would give parents of stillborn babies the same 12 weeks of paid time off from work they would have gotten under the state’s paid family leave if their babies had lived.

The calls come from several stillbirth parents featured in an investigation by The Journal News/lohud that explained how these parents often feel unseen, despite the grief and challenges they face, and are now pushing for a new level of support in New York.

Cristian Ortiz and Crystal Rivera hold their daughter Valentina's ashes, Nov. 30, 2022 in Manhattan. Valentina was born still at 37 weeks in December 2021, while the couple lived in Puerto Rico.

“It’s irresponsible to expect a parent to come back to work right after that,” said Samantha Banerjee, executive director of PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending preventable stillbirths and educating families so they can bring their babies home safely.

“New York already has paid family leave. Stillbirth and loss families need to be included in this,” said Marny Smith, one of the group’s founding members. “We need the support of the governor.”

Banerjee’s daughter, Alana, was born still in 2013, as was Smith’s son, Heath, in 2019.

Paid time off:After a stillbirth, NY families have little to no safety net. Now, they’re demanding change

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Fighting for change:NY stillbirth parents are left out of paid family leave. They refuse to be silent

Parents who spoke with The Journal News/lohud described the agony of finding out their baby was dead just weeks, or even days, before they were due. Mothers described the trauma of having to deliver their babies knowing they were dead.

A “stillbirth” is a delivery in which a baby is born dead anywhere from 20 weeks to

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U.S. Offers Employees Less Paid Leave Than Most Countries Around the World

Americans are offered fewer paid leave and vacation days than most of the world according to a new analysis.

While many countries are mandating paid leave including holidays and sick days, the United States is still the only developed country with no statutory paid leave, with only the Pacific Island countries of Micronesia, Kiribati and Nauru offering the same.

Resume building website analyzed paid leave laws in 197 countries around the world and found that the U.S. offered the second least amount of paid vacation time, with an average of 10 days, as well as the fewest days of paid leave.

Although 82 percent of Americans prioritize paid leave as an important benefit, only 35 percent of U.S. organizations offered paid maternity leave in 2022, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Man sleeping while trying to work
Analysis of paid leave in 197 countries found the U.S. offers the least amount of paid holidays and leave.

A study conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), found that while 77 percent of private sector workers received paid sick leave, about 59 percent of workers in service jobs had access.

The study also found that the highest-wage workers are about three times more likely to have access to paid sick leave than the lowest-wage workers.

To determine which countries offer the most paid leave, analyzed paid leave and holiday laws in 197 countries. The countries were then ranked based on the combined number of paid leave and paid public holidays per year.

Out of all 197 countries, Iran was ranked as the number one country for both paid public holidays and vacation days. In total, Iran offers employees 27 paid holidays and 26 paid leave days.

The company also found that 23 countries offered 30 days of

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Charleston employees could be getting paid family leave for the first time in 2023 | News

Barring any last-minute changes to Charleston’s 2023 budget, all city employees will be eligible for paid family leave for the first time next year.

“The people who are most affected, they have the least amount of time to do something about it,” said Jennet Robinson Alterman, chair of Charleston Women’s Commission. “Kudos to the City Council for doing this.”

The women’s commission has been pushing the city to adopt the policy since 2019, but plans were derailed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charleston considering putting $16.5M toward employee pay raises in 2023 budget

Currently, employees are protected by federal paid leave policies which allow them to take up to 12 weeks off after the birth or adoption of a child. But that policy doesn’t require employers to pay for that time off.

Instead, Charleston employees are encouraged to use all available sick leave and vacation time to maintain their pay during family leave. They could also sign up for short term disability, which covers 60 percent of an employee’s pay.

Charleston City Council voted Nov. 8 to include the policy in next year’s budget. The full budget goes for its first vote Dec. 8. 

Based on the number of employees who took short term disability leave in 2019, the year before the pandemic upended schedules, the human resources department estimates the city could be on the hook for about $33,000 in paid family leave annually if the policy is enacted.

But because paid leave will likely be more popular than short term disability, that figure is probably low, said Heather Pope, Charleston’s deputy director of human resources.

“We know that our estimate is going to be on the low end … But it’s hard to predict how many people will have babies,” she said, and that it’s likely that the paid leave will be more popular, resulting in more employees

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How To Plan for Parental Leave if Your Company Does Not Offer It

Portra / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Portra / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Despite more than 100 years of activism calling for paid parental leave, millions of parents in the United States still have to choose between having children and earning a living. According to the World Policy Center, the U.S. is one of just eight countries on Earth that don’t allow new mothers — and in many cases, fathers — to collect at least a portion of their paychecks while caring for and bonding with their newborns.

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In guaranteeing nothing at all, the wealthiest country in the world joins only Papua New Guinea, Suriname and five tiny Pacific island nations that most people couldn’t point to on a map — Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tonga.

Iran gives new parents 26-51.9 weeks of paid leave. In Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Somalia, Colombia and Turkey it’s 14-25.9 weeks. Russia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and most of Europe give new parents 52 weeks or more.

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees 12 weeks of family leave, but the leave is unpaid and it applies only to public agencies and companies with more than 50 employees — and days you take off during pregnancy count against your 12 weeks.

If you decide to have children in the United States, you’re mostly on your own — unless you’re one of the lucky 23% of workers who the BLS says has access to paid family leave.

For the other 77%, here’s how you can plan, prepare and try to find a balance between work and life.

Hoard the Paid Days Off You Do Have

In a perfect world, American workers

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Is long service leave the key to retention?

Employee retention is a key concern for many employers. Organizations continue to bemoan the high turnover rate of employees and the “Great Resignation” where dangling fruits of more money, added benefits and promises of work-life balance lure away trained employees to what seems to them like greener pastures.

Turnover and lack of trained staff has led to insecurity for business priorities and initiatives and calls into question an organization’s ability to plan for current sustainability and future growth.

Years ago, employees remained loyal with the promise of a pension at the end of a decades-long commitment. These are largely gone or diminishing.

A possible solution — Long Service Leave.

While traveling in Australia recently, I met a woman who was on an extended Long Service Leave from her employer — a children’s hospital where she is a teacher. After losing her 18-month-old granddaughter to cancer in the last year, this extended fully paid time off was the break she needed after working for the hospital for over two decades.

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In Australia, employees working for the same employer for 10 years earn Long Service Leave, the amount of which can vary from six weeks to longer. This leave is in addition to the customary sick leave, vacation, etc. It’s a bonus of sorts for the employee’s loyalty.

What is unique about this leave is that it is fully paid and taken during a time in a person’s career and life that would bring an important refresh. Rarely do Americans have the opportunity to take an extended paid leave of absence. Taking a long-term sick leave or maternity/paternity leave is certainly no vacation, but that’s about the only time Americans are paid when they are away from work for an extended period

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Job Post Bashed as It Gives 2 Weeks’ Paid Parental Leave: ‘Rare Benefit’

A job post online has the internet furious, as it offers two weeks of paid parental leave.

An account under the anonymous username u/MaraJadeSharpie shared a job posting to Reddit’s r/Antiwork forum that has received over 30,000 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

“Proudly listed as a company benefit. Two whole weeks,” exclaimed the original poster (OP).

The job posting read, “Provides two weeks of paid parental leave due to birth or adoption, a rare benefit in the defense industry.”

Job posting about <a href=parental leave slammed” width=”790″ height=”634″/
Above, a pregnant woman looks out a window. Published to Reddit’s r/Antiwork forum, a job posting was slammed for only offering two weeks of paid parental leave.
emituu/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Newsweek has published several articles regarding new parents, including a boss who was slammed online for firing an employee for having a baby, a mom on maternity leave who was urged not to forgive her husband over texts to his co-worker and a new mom who was backed after her work colleague made her feel “lazy” on maternity leave.

What is the difference between maternal and paternal leave?

Maternal leave occurs when a person takes a break from work before giving birth to a child or adopting a baby. Paternal leave is when men adopt a child or have a significant other who recently gives birth, according to

However, not all places of work offer a fully paid leave. Sometimes only a portion is paid leave and the rest is unpaid. It can also be made up of vacation and sick days or short-term disability.

In research done by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2020, 55 percent of employers offered paid maternity leave, 45 percent offered paid paternity leave and 35 percent provided paid extended family care leave.

What is

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Chicago is offering 12 weeks of paid parental leave to city employees. The new policy applies to birthing and nonbirthing parents.

For a city that, for years, had no maternity policy for its female employees, Chicago has certainly come a long way, baby.

In yet another pre-election sweetener, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that the city is expanding its parental leave policy, effective Jan. 1, to allow all 32,000 city employees up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave whether they are the “birthing or non-birthing parent.”

Chicago’s parental leave policy now offers four to six weeks of paid leave for birth parents, depending on the type of birth, and two weeks for “nonbirth” parents. The policy has not been revised since 2011.

The mayor’s office claimed the expansion to 12 weeks of paid leave — for “those growing their family by birth, adoption or foster care, as well as those acting as a surrogate” — would make Chicago “one of the largest cities in the Midwest and across the country” to implement such a generous policy.

To qualify for full pay for 12 weeks of leave, city employees must work for the city for at least one year before the parental leave begins and have worked at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months. The federal Family Medical Leave Act has similar eligibility requirements.

The unprecedented expansion for all city employees evolved from contract talks between the city and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The union proposed to “significantly expand paid parental leave” to match the 10 weeks offered by the state during contract talks three years ago, and after reaching a tentative agreement with the union, Lightfoot expanded the policy to all city employees.

The new policy comes just in time for Edwina Mitchell, a food protection employee for the city’s Department of Public Health. She’s the mother of a 4-year-old and is

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