U.S. Companies Rank Poorly On Paid Vacation

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The average U.S. adult works about 1,787 hours a year, which is the middle of the pack of the globe's hardest-working countries.

The Organization For Economic Co-operation and Development has the numbers, and they're well worth looking at. (Many may not know Mexicans, Koreans and Chileans, on average, outwork Americans by a substantial margin.)

Where American workers really fall behind is in the amount of paid vacation time. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. "is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid vacation time."

That one in four Americans don't get any paid vacation time at all does not compare well to other developed countries.

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According to the CEPR, European Union workers are "legally guaranteed at least 20 paid vacation days per year, with 25 and even 30 or more days in some countries. Canada and Japan guarantee at least 10 days of paid vacation per year. U.S. workers have no statutory right to paid vacations."

Also, most economically developed nations offer between five and 13 legal holidays off. Not so for the U.S., where federal laws do not mandate paid days off for workers in the private sector.

"The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days and paid holidays," says John Schmitt, a senior economist and co-author of the report. "Relying on businesses to voluntarily provide paid leave just hasn't worked."

A bit of the blame may go to all those mobile phones, tablets, and laptops we're carrying around.

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"America is behind on offering employees paid vacation day due to a number of reasons," says Michael Crom, executive vice president at Dale Carnegie Training. "For one, our digital culture can make it impossible for employees to fully un-plug from the office, and therefore make them feel like they need to answer every request that shows up in their inbox 100% of the time."