Sen. Bernie Sanders is drawing impressive crowds as he launches his campaign for president of the United States. His focus on income inequality, removing big money from politics, and environmental issues must be striking a nerve. Also probably appealing to the average American? His take on vacations – which is basically that we need them, and that they should be paid.
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Here’s what you need to know.
1. Sanders recently introduced the Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act to Congress.
The bill would give 10 days of paid vacation to every employee who has worked at an organization with at least 15 employees for a year or more.
“What family values are about is that at least for two weeks a year, people can come together under a relaxed environment and enjoy the family,” said Sanders on the Senate floor. “That is a family value that I want to see happen in this country.”
2. This is just a part of the “family values” agenda he outlined earlier this month.
Additionally, Sanders backed legislation that would allow 12 weeks of paid leave for an employee with a child with a serious medical condition. Another bill gives workers up to seven paid sick days.
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“When you look at what other wealthy countries are doing, what you find is that the United States of America is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers some form of paid family leave, paid sick time or paid vacation time,” Sanders said. “In other words, when it comes to basic workplace protections and family benefits, workers in every other major industrialized country in the world get a better deal than workers in the United States. That is wrong.”
3. He’s right: Americans really do need a vacation.
Too many folks don’t take enough time off. Feeling as though “a vacation is impossible right now,” is a common viewpoint, but the benefits of finding a way to make it happen are innumerable.
Americans are working harder than almost anyone else, and hard workers need time off. No matter what happens with Sanders’ run for president, shifting the conversation toward these aims is a positive step in the right direction.
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