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What does your employer owe you?

July 30, 2011

Someone I know recently spent a few years overseas in a country that has a lot of social programs.  Employers are required to provide you with 6 weeks of paid vacation and 6 months of paid maternity leave.

Now back in the U.S., this person finds our “policies” on leave from work to be lacking.  Because in this country, as a general rule, employers have the freedom to set their own policies when it comes to paid time off.  That often means we get about 2 weeks of paid vacation a year and a woman gets about 6 weeks maternity leave, often unpaid.

I’m left to wonder, what exactly do our employers owe us?  Where does what we demand from them end?  Do they owe us 6 weeks of vacation?  Six months of paid maternity leave?

I don’t think so.  In fact, I don’t think they owe us anything like that at all.  If you ask me, an employer owes employees a fair wage and a safe environment to work in.  That is it.  Health insurance, vacation days and everything are benefits to make jobs more attractive.  Employers use these as tools to attract candidates to their companies.  They cost the company money, and often you actually make less money every week because of them.  But sometimes that’s a fair trade.

Do I think  it would be great to work somewhere that gave me a whole month off work every year?  Yeah!  I mean, who wouldn’t like that?  But I don’t think any employer owes me that.  I’m thankful for the 2 weeks a year I get now.  Because they don’t have to give me any at all.


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 14, 2012 7:49 am

    Good post. I certainly appreciate this website.
    Stick with it!

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