Poll

How many weeks vacation do you have? (only for working people, not FIRE)

2 weeks
27 (9.7%)
3 weeks
69 (24.7%)
4-5 weeks
137 (49.1%)
6-7 weeks
20 (7.2%)
more than 7 weeks
11 (3.9%)
0 days
15 (5.4%)

Total Members Voted: 279

Author Topic: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?  (Read 7409 times)

Rimu05

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #100 on: August 08, 2017, 02:37:26 PM »
I get 17 days and five sick days.

Jrr85

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #101 on: August 08, 2017, 03:00:08 PM »
Hi.

Sometimes I read on this forum that you Americans only have 2 weeks of vacation a year. One of my Norwegian colleagues has American friends who have negotiated a 7 week vacation in their job. Therefore I am curious to know what is the norm.
Here in Norway we have 5 weeks normally. A few companies have 6 weeks (not me).

Thanks for your answers.

Linda

I've run the gamut, at least for an american employee.  I've had a job that was completely production based and so no paid vacation. 

I've had a job with around 2.5 weeks of paid time off, plus annual sick leave, the first 32 hours of which could be converted to Paid time off to the extent it wasn't used (e.g., take 8 hours of sick leave during the year, and you can convert 24 hours of sick leave into paid time off).  The paid time off accrued would increase after 5 years tenure, 10, and 20 years tenure.

Currently I have just Paid time off, no distinction between sick and persona/vacation and get basically 4 weeks and one day and that will go up to 5 weeks and one day with a year tenure, then six years and one day with five years tenure.  All unused PTO can be carried forward to the next year.

My wife just gets 3 weeks vacation plus sick leave, but she can't carry over any unused vacation.  I think she started off with 2 weeks and got bumped to three with a promotion and otherwise woudl have gotten 3 weeks after 5 years?  And she'll get 4 weeks when she hits ten years or when she gets her next promotion if it's before then.   

 

Linda_Norway

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #102 on: August 09, 2017, 12:16:59 AM »

Currently I have just Paid time off, no distinction between sick and persona/vacation and get basically 4 weeks and one day and that will go up to 5 weeks and one day with a year tenure, then six years and one day with five years tenure.  All unused PTO can be carried forward to the next year.

This is an extremely good deal. ;-)

This thread has been very informative. I have understood that American companies often use the number of vacation weeks to stimulate employees to stay with them, the longer you work somewhere, the longer vacation you get. And in general they don't distinct between sickness and vacation and give just a general number of paid days off. And American employees are not free to take up as much/as long vacation as they would like to, because it is not appreciated by their employer to take a long vacation. And often their is no time for it anyway.

For the difference with Norway:
Our (paid) sickness is not included in the number of vacation days. And employees have the right by law to be given three weeks of vacation in a row somewhere in the period June-September, even is that is inconvenient for the employer.

Jrr85

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #103 on: August 09, 2017, 12:24:45 PM »

Currently I have just Paid time off, no distinction between sick and persona/vacation and get basically 4 weeks and one day and that will go up to 5 weeks and one day with a year tenure, then six years and one day with five years tenure.  All unused PTO can be carried forward to the next year.

This is an extremely good deal. ;-)

This thread has been very informative. I have understood that American companies often use the number of vacation weeks to stimulate employees to stay with them, the longer you work somewhere, the longer vacation you get. And in general they don't distinct between sickness and vacation and give just a general number of paid days off. And American employees are not free to take up as much/as long vacation as they would like to, because it is not appreciated by their employer to take a long vacation. And often their is no time for it anyway.

For the difference with Norway:
Our (paid) sickness is not included in the number of vacation days. And employees have the right by law to be given three weeks of vacation in a row somewhere in the period June-September, even is that is inconvenient for the employer.

Not positive, but I would say not distinguishing between vacation and sick leave is still probably the exception, not the rule, although it is becoming more common and will probably become the rule.

I'd also point out that in my limited experience, the move to not distinguishing between vacation and sick leave has been driven by what employees want.  With separate sick and vacation days, poor employees simply take sick days when they want a day off (some employers require a doctors note if more than a day or two is taken as sick leave, so it's usually a one day at a time thing), so you end up with more conscientious/honest employees getting worse benefits than the ones willing to just lie about being sick.  You also have people that in good faith take a sick day just for feeling generally bad where as others gut it out unless they think they have something that will get worse without going rest or something that they think is contagious to co-workers. 

So most workers jump at the option to reduce the total number of vacation and sick days in exchange for having more flexibility with how to use them. 

afuera

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #104 on: August 09, 2017, 01:07:24 PM »

Currently I have just Paid time off, no distinction between sick and persona/vacation and get basically 4 weeks and one day and that will go up to 5 weeks and one day with a year tenure, then six years and one day with five years tenure.  All unused PTO can be carried forward to the next year.

This is an extremely good deal. ;-)

This thread has been very informative. I have understood that American companies often use the number of vacation weeks to stimulate employees to stay with them, the longer you work somewhere, the longer vacation you get. And in general they don't distinct between sickness and vacation and give just a general number of paid days off. And American employees are not free to take up as much/as long vacation as they would like to, because it is not appreciated by their employer to take a long vacation. And often their is no time for it anyway.

For the difference with Norway:
Our (paid) sickness is not included in the number of vacation days. And employees have the right by law to be given three weeks of vacation in a row somewhere in the period June-September, even is that is inconvenient for the employer.

Not positive, but I would say not distinguishing between vacation and sick leave is still probably the exception, not the rule, although it is becoming more common and will probably become the rule.

I'd also point out that in my limited experience, the move to not distinguishing between vacation and sick leave has been driven by what employees want.  With separate sick and vacation days, poor employees simply take sick days when they want a day off (some employers require a doctors note if more than a day or two is taken as sick leave, so it's usually a one day at a time thing), so you end up with more conscientious/honest employees getting worse benefits than the ones willing to just lie about being sick.  You also have people that in good faith take a sick day just for feeling generally bad where as others gut it out unless they think they have something that will get worse without going rest or something that they think is contagious to co-workers. 

So most workers jump at the option to reduce the total number of vacation and sick days in exchange for having more flexibility with how to use them.

Personally, I wouldn't want both my vacation and sick time in one PTO bucket.  I have 2 weeks vacation and 2 weeks of sick leave.  I have never hesitated to use sick leave when I need to since it is separate from my vacation days.  Hubs on the other hand, has 3 weeks PTO with no distinction between sick days and vacation days and he has gone to the office when he was sick as a dog and should have stayed home because using a sick day would be "wasting" a vacation day in his mind.
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Jet711

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #105 on: August 09, 2017, 01:26:00 PM »
As a teenager, I don't work, and when I do, its on my own schedule ;D
Look how old I am! I've learned that when life gives you lemons..... freeze them and throw them as hard as you can at the people making your life difficult.

Gronnie

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #106 on: August 09, 2017, 02:12:22 PM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

dougules

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #107 on: August 10, 2017, 10:31:16 AM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

A friend of mine was talking about being happy his new employer had that policy.  It sounds so nice on paper when you phrase it as unlimited vacation, but I couldn't convince him that that was a bad thing. 

prognastat

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #108 on: August 10, 2017, 10:44:17 AM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

A friend of mine was talking about being happy his new employer had that policy.  It sounds so nice on paper when you phrase it as unlimited vacation, but I couldn't convince him that that was a bad thing.

Some of the most insidious things sounds like great things at first glance. effectively you don't have unlimited time off, your productivity is getting judged by how much vacation you take. I effectively creates a race to the bottom.

Gronnie

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #109 on: August 10, 2017, 11:05:01 AM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

A friend of mine was talking about being happy his new employer had that policy.  It sounds so nice on paper when you phrase it as unlimited vacation, but I couldn't convince him that that was a bad thing.

Some of the most insidious things sounds like great things at first glance. effectively you don't have unlimited time off, your productivity is getting judged by how much vacation you take. I effectively creates a race to the bottom.

This. Nobody wants to leave their team in the lurch. You are also still judged on how much work you got done and contributions made when it comes time for bonuses, raises, and promotions -- if you took a bunch of time off there is a good chance that will have been noticed even though it isn't supposed to be tracked.

When it vacation is an accrual, you don't have to feel bad about taking vacation, because you "earned it" and everyone gets the same amount.

prognastat

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #110 on: August 10, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

A friend of mine was talking about being happy his new employer had that policy.  It sounds so nice on paper when you phrase it as unlimited vacation, but I couldn't convince him that that was a bad thing.

Some of the most insidious things sounds like great things at first glance. effectively you don't have unlimited time off, your productivity is getting judged by how much vacation you take. I effectively creates a race to the bottom.

This. Nobody wants to leave their team in the lurch. You are also still judged on how much work you got done and contributions made when it comes time for bonuses, raises, and promotions -- if you took a bunch of time off there is a good chance that will have been noticed even though it isn't supposed to be tracked.

When it vacation is an accrual, you don't have to feel bad about taking vacation, because you "earned it" and everyone gets the same amount.

It also blurs the question of how much vacation you "should" be taking. When you have an accrual system you know how much you should be taking, the amount you received. However, when you have an unlimited vacation system the amount becomes obscured and people are going to err on the side of caution(thus take less).

MsSindy

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #111 on: August 10, 2017, 01:24:00 PM »
I get 18 days (plus paid holidays) of vacation, plus unlimited sick days (I take about 4 a year - we jokingly call them "mental health" days) - we also use sick days for doctor appointments.  I'll get 25 days after 5 years of service (next year).  We don't log our vacation time anywhere, so it's really between you and your boss - I've taken more than my 18 days last year, and as long as I get my work done, my boss says nothing - not sure he even tracks it.

All-in-all, I think I have it pretty good.  However, we work on projects with our counterparts in Europe and joke a lot that all work/decisions cease in the summer as they all take month-long vacations (and yeah, we're all jealous!).  Well, less joking, just stating facts, really  We find that the Swedes take the most time off :)

madgeylou

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #112 on: August 10, 2017, 02:19:23 PM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

We implemented this at my company last year. Most people are taking the same amount of vacation (normally a week in the summer and a week some other time). I am taking a bit more (2 weeks in spring, 2 weeks in fall, 2 weeks at Christmas).

valsecito

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #113 on: August 10, 2017, 02:29:07 PM »
Not American, but 15 weeks off, plus more public holidays than in the US. Can't pick my holidays though.

In a typical working week, I work under 15 hours for a boss, usually concentrated in two days. A luxury situation.

Gronnie

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #114 on: August 11, 2017, 03:02:30 PM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

We implemented this at my company last year. Most people are taking the same amount of vacation (normally a week in the summer and a week some other time). I am taking a bit more (2 weeks in spring, 2 weeks in fall, 2 weeks at Christmas).

Since when does 300% equal "a bit"? :)

Good for you, if you can get the vacation you should take it. I had planned to take about 5 weeks this year, but we have been very busy with the project I am working on nearing release. I plan to take 6 or more weeks next year to make up for it!

madgeylou

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #115 on: August 11, 2017, 05:32:24 PM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

We implemented this at my company last year. Most people are taking the same amount of vacation (normally a week in the summer and a week some other time). I am taking a bit more (2 weeks in spring, 2 weeks in fall, 2 weeks at Christmas).

Since when does 300% equal "a bit"? :)

Good for you, if you can get the vacation you should take it. I had planned to take about 5 weeks this year, but we have been very busy with the project I am working on nearing release. I plan to take 6 or more weeks next year to make up for it!

Haha I should mention we all get those 2 weeks at Christmas off. So it's only 200% :)

firelight

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #116 on: August 13, 2017, 11:57:24 PM »
I work for a tech company, and the policy changed about a year ago to "take as much as you need as long as you can work it out with your manager".

I think in practice this actually causes many engineers to take less vacation, not more.

A friend of mine was talking about being happy his new employer had that policy.  It sounds so nice on paper when you phrase it as unlimited vacation, but I couldn't convince him that that was a bad thing.

Some of the most insidious things sounds like great things at first glance. effectively you don't have unlimited time off, your productivity is getting judged by how much vacation you take. I effectively creates a race to the bottom.

This. Nobody wants to leave their team in the lurch. You are also still judged on how much work you got done and contributions made when it comes time for bonuses, raises, and promotions -- if you took a bunch of time off there is a good chance that will have been noticed even though it isn't supposed to be tracked.

When it vacation is an accrual, you don't have to feel bad about taking vacation, because you "earned it" and everyone gets the same amount.

It also blurs the question of how much vacation you "should" be taking. When you have an accrual system you know how much you should be taking, the amount you received. However, when you have an unlimited vacation system the amount becomes obscured and people are going to err on the side of caution(thus take less).
My company has unlimited vacation policy. Since my manager and higher ups take vacations of 2+ weeks, we are encouraged to take vacations too. I love unlimited vacations since I tend to take atleast 4 weeks every year. I used to have 3 weeks in my previous company and would take a week off with no pay.

If your management takes vacations, it is a good sign for others to take it too. But I agree, usually people take less vacation if there is unlimited vacation policy.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #117 on: August 14, 2017, 01:07:25 AM »
Australian example here (not American, so I didn't vote).

32 days annual leave per year (with 17.5% loading) + 10 days of sick leave + 5 public holidays.

Villanelle

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #118 on: August 14, 2017, 01:12:28 AM »
At my last job, we got two weeks as new employees.  At the two year mark, we got an additional week, and at 5 years, we got a 4th week.  This was in addition to sick time (I think also 2 weeks per year, but I've forgotten) and one "personal day" that was basically an additional vacation day.  And a smattering of paid holidays (the number 12 rings a bell, but I could be wrong). 

Husband is in the military.  He gets 30 days a year, but that includes weekends and holidays.  Technically, if we were to go on a long drive over a weekend, even if he missed no work he would need to take two days of leave.  Also, using it is quite often difficult.  They can only carry over 60 days each fiscal year (with a few exceptions) and most years of his career he has given back time, a fact that makes me irrationally upset. 


dougules

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #119 on: August 14, 2017, 10:51:40 AM »
One factor to take into account is that this forum is strongly skewed toward higher level professionals.  It gets a lot worse as you go down the skill level ladder. 

JLee

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Re: To working Americans: how many weeks vacation do you have?
« Reply #120 on: August 17, 2017, 06:20:15 PM »
Four weeks plus one week of sick time. Two years ago (different employer) had two weeks and...I think 3 or 5 sick days.