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Little known facts about vacation time

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Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:40 am, Fri Aug 1, 2014.

(BPT) - While many Americans are enjoying or planning their last big hurrah for the summer – the beach, music festivals, campfires and time with family and friends – some may not be quite so lucky. Here are some facts you should know about your prized vacation time.

Paid vacation time is not a right

If you’re lucky enough to have paid vacation from your employer, it is a benefit that can theoretically be taken away at any time. The United States is out of step with the rest of the world. It is the only advanced economy without mandated paid vacation time for workers. So there’s no guarantee.

1 in 4 Americans don’t get any vacation time

Approximately 28 million working Americans, in the private sector, do not have the benefit of paid vacation time. This includes workers across all types of jobs and pay levels.

Vacation is good for you

Paid vacation leads to quality time spent with family and friends as well as volunteerism in communities. The vast majority (83 percent) of Americans believe that paid vacation time brings families closer together and improves quality of life (85 percent).

Taking a break is also good for your health. Men who do not take regular vacation have a 32 percent higher chance of heart disease than those who do. For women, it’s even more imperative to take a break as they have a 50 percent higher chance of heart disease.

Vacation is good for the economy

Encouraging American workers to use just one more day of earned leave per year could bring $73 billion into the economy annually.

You can do something

If you’re among the working Americans who do receive paid vacation time, use it. Just think of all the benefits to your health and well-being, not to mention the fun you can have. Next, help those who do not receive vacation time and protect the time off you get. Sign the Vacation Equality Project petition now at WhiteHouse.gov to encourage The White House to weigh-in on the issue.

If you’re a working American who does not have the benefit of paid vacation, the Vacation Equality Project, a movement led by Hotels.com, can help you put this issue in front your elected officials. By signing the petition, your local member of the House of Representatives can receive a postcard from you showing your support of guaranteed paid vacation time for all working Americans.

It's time for the U.S. to catch up with Canada, Germany, Japan and every other advanced nation in the world that guarantees its workforce a minimum amount of paid vacation time. Visit www.VacationEqualityProject.com to learn more.

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