by Michael Kun
It has not received much publicity -- yet -- but Representative Alan Grayson of Florida has introduced the Paid Vacation Act, a proposed amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In short, if passed, the Paid Vacation Act would require employers with 100 or more employees to provide one week of paid vacation each year to each of its employees who had worked for 25 weeks or 1,250 hours. Three years after passage, the Act would require those employers to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and smaller employers (those with more than 50 employees) would have to provide one week of vacation.
Of course, the overwhelming majority of employers already provide employees with paid vacation, so the Act would have little or no impact upon them.
As for the remainder, without going into all of the business reasons an employer might have for not providing paid vacation, one has to question whether this is really the time to be considering such an amendment to the FLSA.
The economic climate in the country is dire enough, and employers in virtually every industry have had to conduct layoffs just to remain in business.
Employees aren't concerned about vacations. They're concerned about keeping their jobs.
Is adding another business cost to struggling businesses wise, knowing that it would likely force some of those businesses to conduct additional layoffs or reduce employee compensation?
Or might someone be playing to the masses by proposing it?
Of course, time will tell whether the Paid Vacation Act gains any traction. But it certainly seems that this is one bill that deserves to be tabled until the economy (hopefully) rebounds.