VACATION

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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VACATION

Do Teachers Get Paid Maternity Leave? Do They Get Vacation Days? These Answers and More

Teaching is a profession where it can be hard to take a day off.

Teachers generally don’t get vacation days like other professional workers, since they don’t have to work during school breaks, including summer. They do get sick and personal leave, but navigating teacher leave policies can be tricky: Teachers are the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement, and their presence matters. Research shows that when teachers are absent for 10 days or more over the course of a school year, student outcomes decline.

But at the same time, teachers say they’re burned out and are experiencing high levels of stress. Experts say teachers should be able to take time off when their physical and mental health requires it.

“It’s important to balance the needs of teachers with the needs of students,” said Shannon Holston, the chief of policy and programs at the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based research and advocacy group. The NCTQ maintains a database of teacher leave policies in 148 districts—the 100 largest districts in the country and the largest in each state.

It has also become increasingly difficult to find enough substitute teachers to fill absences. Some teachers have said they feel guilty taking time off, especially for mental health reasons, because their work is often added to their colleagues’ plates.

Meanwhile, some policymakers have said that additional leave benefits—like paid parental leave—can be effective recruiting tools for teachers, especially during this difficult job market.

Here’s what you need to know about the landscape of teacher leave policies.

How many days a year do teachers get off?

On average, teachers get 10 sick days and three personal days a year, according to the NCTQ. These days typically roll over from year to year, so veteran teachers often accumulate large

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VACATION

McMaster and sponsors celebrate law giving state employees up to 6 weeks paid parental leave | Palmetto Politics

COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster celebrated a new law providing state employees up to six weeks of paid parental leave while its sponsors promised to push for more next year.  

“This is a great step forward,” McMaster said Aug. 25 at the Statehouse, surrounded by advocates who helped get the legislation to his desk.

“Having strong families, of course, is key to our success in the future,” he added. “Mommas and daddies need to be with their babies as much as they can.” 

The event marked a ceremonial signing of a bill he actually set into law in May. 

Effective Oct. 1, it provides six weeks of paid leave to state employees who give birth or become parents by adopting a child under 18. The spouse who doesn’t give birth or — in the case of adoption, the parent who’s not the primary care provider — can take two weeks off with pay. Parents who foster a child in state custody can also take two weeks paid leave. 


Florence 1 becomes first SC school district to offer paid parental leave

Parents can still take up to 12 weeks off, as allowed under a 1993 federal law, but the rest of the time would be unpaid. Currently, employees must use up their accrued vacation and sick days before taking unpaid leave. The new law doesn’t require using those days.

As initially passed overwhelmingly by the S.C. House of Representatives last year, the legislation guaranteed 12 weeks of paid leave to each parent. But the Senate cut the maximum weeks in half and differentiated between mother and father, biological and foster children.

Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Columbia, said the compromise was necessary to get a vote in the Senate, which passed the amended bill unanimously in March. For reluctant senators, he said, it was a matter of money.   


Columbia moving forward with $21.5M Finlay Park revitalization

State fiscal experts estimated the

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