Dems Introduce Bill for All Workers to Earn Paid Time Off

Rep. Seth Magaziner (D-RI) and three other representatives have proposed the Protected Time Off Act (“the PTO Act”), a bill that would require businesses to provide employees with one hour of annual leave for every 25 hours of work. Under the bill, workers could earn up to ten paid vacation days per year, expanding this benefit to an estimated twenty-seven million people with no paid vacation time. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will introduce the companion bill in the Senate.

Paid vacation time under the Protected Time Off Act would be in addition to any paid time off or family and medical leave already required by law. The law also would protect employees from discrimination for exercising their rights to accrue and utilize paid vacation days under the Act.

Magaziner contrasted America’s lack of mandated paid leave for workers to other major industrialized countries, where paid leave is much more common. For instance, in the European Union, the law guarantees workers at least 20 days of vacation leave annually. In the United States, more than one out of five people working in the private sector receive no annual paid leave. People of color and those who work in lower-wage jobs are less likely to receive annual paid leave than other workers.

The PTO Act has forty-three co-sponsors in Congress and support from major labor unions, the NAACP, and the National Employment Law Project.

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