Leave it to a Florida politician to come up with the next great idea in work force development. Mandatory paid vacations.
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is pushing a federal bill called the Paid Vacation Act that will make it the law for employers to give employees a break on the company’s dime. Let’s make him president right now! His campaign slogan could be “Pay For Play.”
The bill would undoubtedly have the support of state leaders. Gov. Charlie Crist reportedly takes a vacation every other week and has more down time than the Maytag maintenance man.
Grayson, a Central Florida Democrat, said he thought of the idea while standing in the middle of the brainstorming capital of the world, Disney World. It is where imagination comes to life, after all.
“There’s a reason why Disney World is the happiest place on Earth: The people who go there are on vacation,” Grayson told politico.com. “Honestly, as much as I appreciate this job and as much as I enjoy it, the best days of my life are and always have been the days I’m on vacation.”
Grayson is clearly not one for understatements.
Disregard the fact Disney just laid off a slew of employees and hiked up its prices, it’s still a pretty cheerful place. Grayson’s plan may be a bit self-serving -- Orlando falls in his district -- but if you have a job you can’t help but like the idea. About 28 million Americans don’t get any paid vacation time, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Grayson’s plan gets better.
Companies with more than 100 employees would eventually have to pay for two weeks vacation for fulltime and part-time employees. Companies with 50 employees would only have to pay for a week.
Both are sweet deals.
The goal is simple, Grayson said. Happier employees are more productive employees. He also wants to prevent a mass exodus from the U.S. to France, where the workforce gets a mandatory month of paid R & R.
Vive le Grayson!