Top Cities for Vacation Time That's Paid


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When it comes to paid time off on the job, Sacramento is the best city to work with nearly 14 days off a year followed by the Washington, D.C. area with 12 days as well as Charlotte and San Diego next in line with average of 11 days each, according to a new study.

"This state by state variance relates to regional work culture, industry culture, and demographics," said Jason Langhoff, director of corporate development with TriNet, a human resources provider.

In its report, TriNet surveyed paid time off regionally for small to medium sized businesses and found the worst cities to be Scottsdale, Ariz. with a mere 3.6 days followed by 4.5 days in the New York City-, Jersey City- and Newark-metro area and 5.4 days of paid time off in Atlanta.

"New York and Newark have a higher concentration of workers in the finance and law professions and their office cultures frequently prioritize face time and encourage long hours that include working into the evenings and weekends," Langhoff told MainStreet. "The area is also known for its larger percentage of young college graduates who often take less vacation than their more senior colleagues."

TriNet's survey further found that life sciences and information technology are among the best sectors to work with finance and retail among the worst industries for paid time off.

"Both the Atlanta and Scottsdale regions have a large representation in legal and other professional service industries which average lower paid time off usage in these locales," Langhoff said.

Improving the rate of paid time off in the offending regions can be as simple as asking.

"Oftentimes, employers don't offer paid time off because they haven't been asked," said Halley Bock, president of Fierce, a leadership development and training company. "Workers need to have conversations with their managers to discuss the issue and explore policies that benefit the organization and its people."

The bottom line and state penalties can also make a difference in the frequency of vacation time since accrued but unused paid time off can be a liability on an employer's books.

"Many states require employers to pay out workers who leave the company which can cause an unexpected financial hit," Langhoff said. "And failure to comply with paid time off regulation can result in wage claims or penalties from the state. By encouraging regular use of paid time off an employer can reduce all of these risks."

Vacations from work improves the health and happiness of employees as well as business performance.

"When workers lose focus, patience and some of their drive, these are telltale signs that some paid time off may be in order," Bock told MainStreet. "Everyone needs an occasional physical or mental break from the grind of the workplace, or to attend to personal tasks that can't be taken care of outside of work hours."

While no time off takes a physical and emotional toll on workers, having well-rested employees can create a sense of good will on the job.

"Employees who are allowed to take paid time off view their employer in a more positive light and are more likely to put forth extra discretionary effort," said Langhoff.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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