Sen. Bernie Sanders says he has a way to bring American families together: Give workers a guaranteed 10 days of paid vacation.
"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," the independent Vermont senator, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said from the Senate floor Thursday, reports The Hill
"That is a family value that I want to see happen in this country."
Sanders is introducing a new bill, the Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act, which would give 10 days of paid vacation to all employees who have worked for a company for at least one year. His law would apply to employers that have at least 15 employees.
The vacation plan is part of Sanders' "family values agenda," an agenda that also includes backing legislation giving employees 12 weeks of paid leave after they have a child or if there is a serious medical condition. Further, he supports a separate bill guaranteeing workers get up to seven paid sick days a year.
Sanders pointedly said that his view of "family values" is different from that of Republicans, who, "generally speaking, what they mean by family values is opposition to a woman's right to choose, opposition to contraception, opposition to gay rights."
But even with a law requiring that companies allow vacation time, it may be another matter getting workers to take their time off.
According to a Glassdoor survey last year, reports Marketwatch.com
, employees said they only use about 51 percent of their eligible paid vacation time off.
Further, the survey found, 61 percent of Americans work while they are on vacation, with one in four getting calls from a colleague and one in five hearing from their boss while they're away from work.
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