When I started working my first job out of college I only accrued 10 vacation days a year. I calculated it out and that was roughly a month and a week I had to work in order to get ONE day off. I needed to have stayed with the company FIVE YEARS in order to get 15 vacation days a year. It was complete hell for my first few years. The first actual vacation I took was over two years after I started working.
My second job wasn’t much better. I started out with accruing 10 vacation days a year (same as before) but I think after three years with them I could get another week for a total (and maximum) of 15 days a year. The first two years of this job I actually got less time off than my previous job. However I decided to leave after two years and it just so happened I left when others left as well. They (and me) sighted not enough vacation as one of our reasons for leaving. After I gave my notice the company changed their policy. They now gave everyone 15 days off a year as well as two extra floating holidays (for a total of four floating holidays).
Since they changed it, it actually got me to come back. I was very happy in earning 15 days off a year.
The next job I got I had 15 days off a year as well as some government holidays off. After one year I accrued 20 days off a year. That wasn’t so bad. I actually felt like I had time.
I got another job and now I get 21 days off a year. I’m moving up!
I can’t help but feel kind of happy that me (and I’m sure many others) voiced our displeasure over vacation time and made companies change it. Talking with some people fresh on their first job out of college and them earning 15 days off a year makes me feel like I helped to accomplish something. I’m glad they’re getting more time off than what I had when I started.
I also have to note that my first and second job there came with a week sick leave. However sick leave could only be taken if you’re sick and it was not paid out when I left. I would sometimes fake being sick so I could get a mental health day. My third and now my fourth jobs do not have sick leave so I did not/do not have to do that.
It’s still NO EUROPE but it might be getting better. And minimum wage workers (and I’m sure MANY, MANY other people) do not earn vacation or sick leave. The United States has a long way to go as we are still the only first world country that doesn’t offer guaranteed paid time off.