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21-11-2020, 20:01   #1
SharpshooterTom
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Work life balance in the USA

I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of Ireland/UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
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21-11-2020, 20:29   #2
arctictree
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Originally Posted by SharpshooterTom View Post
I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of Ireland/UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
If your main concern is time off then just do fixed term contracts or move from job to job and take time off between.
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21-11-2020, 20:30   #3
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My uncle worked there what seems to be normal is no paid holiday the first year, 5 the second and 10 after that.

Its a load of bollix. That LunchMoney Lewis song is an accurate portrayal of life over there. Even if you get a good job and don't buy things on credit you are only a small dose of bad luck away from financial ruin
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21-11-2020, 20:30   #4
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I don't think the US is for you OP if that's your biggest concern.
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21-11-2020, 20:32   #5
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Yep, there is no statutory paid vacation, it is entirely at the employer's discretion.
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21-11-2020, 20:32   #6
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Originally Posted by SharpshooterTom View Post
I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of Ireland/UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
What industry do you work in?
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21-11-2020, 20:33   #7
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Most jobs in the US give you the public holidays paid but not all. Plenty of people are on part-time hours without any holiday leave; in job that could clearly employ people full time but don't because if they hire them part time they get state supports of various kinds (food stamps, medicare) and can hence 'afford' to work for the awful wages.

However, if you're in a job that will get you a US visa you'll be getting 20-30 days between AL and public holidays. You're not going there to pack bags in Walmart.
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21-11-2020, 20:36   #8
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I don't think the US is for you OP if that's your biggest concern.
is that you jeff bezos?
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21-11-2020, 20:39   #9
JustAThought
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I don't think the US is for you OP if that's your biggest concern.
I think your bigger integrated issue is the medical insurance that is often tied to your job - not working leaves you very exposed unless you ate very canny and can afford to provide and bankroll some kind of private insurance without the huge subsidys an employer gives.

I’d also at the moment be worrying about what a stay in an american hospital could cost you ecen with insurance - there is usually a percentage the sick person has to pay - and unna country where calling an ambulance can cost up to 5k, things cN get very expensive quickly - and thats before you are seen in ICU by 3 kinds of specialists because you sneezed!

My brother is over there - he has 15 paid holiday days and the option after he is there for X years to buy more holiday days. Frighteningly depressing. They also have a group sick leave scheme where if nobody takes more than 3 sick
days in a year the whole department gets a extra percentage bonus. It really puts pressure on people to come in- and infect everyone - and drives him mad. Different places have different deals. I was under the impressions holidays were typically paid. I also gather that finding a job with paid maternity leave is as rare as finding an honest politician. But I gather some must exist somewhere.

I’d be more chosing somewhere to live based on uality of life, or costs, or income and opportunity rather than paid holiday days. As you said Oz, Canada and most of Europe have balanced lifestyles, normal ie close to Our attitudes towards work life balance and paid holidays. Of course if you set up your own company or work in the trades for yourself you can choose your own days/payments spreads. It just depends.

Teachers still get paid holidays - on permanent contracts - what area are you in OP?

Last edited by JustAThought; 21-11-2020 at 20:44.
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21-11-2020, 20:46   #10
SharpshooterTom
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What industry do you work in?
I'm a qualified electrical engineer but I quit the job a while back being a carer for my parents and I'm now considering changing career (so this potential move isn't imminent and a while off yet, but I'm thinking long term about it).

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I don't think the US is for you OP if that's your biggest concern.
The thing is its really my only gripe because I'm personally ok with healthcare and gun culture (most of the murders take place in crap parts of the major cities), or at least they don't bother me.

If I could get it up to say 3 weeks off, I'd be ok with that. I don't need 5-6 weeks, but I don't want 5-10 days either.
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21-11-2020, 20:49   #11
Strumms
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Originally Posted by SharpshooterTom View Post
I've long considered wanting to move to the US at some point in my life. I recognise it has some serious flaws, but my main gripe about the country is with the lack of annual leave the US (and Canada) both have. Am I right in saying the US has NO guaranteed paid leave whatsoever and it has be negotiated with an employer before hand? I also read that approximately 25% of Americans don't get ANY paid leave whatsoever? I think the average American only gets just 10 days off a year? In Canada its not much better either with 2 weeks only (and wages are also lower than the US).

AUS/NZ appear to have a similar work-life balance to that of Ireland/UK by contrast. A minimum of 4-5 weeks plus an extra 10-13 paid days for public holidays which is a pretty good deal, so I'm open to moving there also. But the lack of paid work leave is a bit of a drag about North America. I'd be ok with 3 weeks but 10 days or less would depress me.
As my cousin says, the best place when things are going well, when they ain’t, it’s the loneliest place on the planet. He’s known both sides, his family emigrated there from Dublin when he was about 7, his father died suddenly 6 years later, he was managing a petrol station to studying at night getting to college to study law... he has just retired at 60 with a nice 4 bedroom gaff, pool, sauna, Merc in the drive... but to get there, he seriously broke his back, had to, I’d see it myself over there staying with him, hed set his alarm for 7.00am and not be in the door till after 7.30pm.... the pay is not great either, generally speaking.

Last edited by Strumms; 21-11-2020 at 20:52.
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21-11-2020, 20:54   #12
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The regulations might differ from state to state in their federal system.
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21-11-2020, 20:55   #13
Gregor Samsa
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I work for an American company. They used to give the US employees 12 days paid holidays to start off with, but you could build that up to 24 over 6 years (2 days a year of service).

They now give unlimited PTO to their US employees, which ironically they can’t give here because of our statutory minimum paid leave requirements.

I think they have a rule that they can’t take more than a week at a time, but I’ve seen people out for 2. They tend to take loads of long weekends, and then a week in the summer, time around Thanksgiving (although as an e-commerce company, that’s actually our busiest time, so bit everyone can take time off then), and then they’re all off over Christmas.

In the Irish office, we start with 22 days, and can build up to 30 with service.

Last edited by Gregor Samsa; 21-11-2020 at 21:03.
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21-11-2020, 20:58   #14
jrosen
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Roughly 10 days per year, plus some companies give personal days. My husbands gave 5 days which most people tied into the annual leave anyway. But yes annual leave isn't great.

I would second the opinion that its the best place in the world when things are going well. But I wouldn't like to be there if things were not.
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21-11-2020, 21:01   #15
JustAThought
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpshooterTom View Post
I'm a qualified electrical engineer but I quit the job a while back being a carer for my parents and I'm now considering changing career (so this potential move isn't imminent and a while off yet, but I'm thinking long term about it).



The thing is its really my only gripe because I'm personally ok with healthcare and gun culture (most of the murders take place in crap parts of the major cities), or at least they don't bother me.

If I could get it up to say 3 weeks off, I'd be ok with that. I don't need 5-6 weeks, but I don't want 5-10 days either.

Fair dues to
you for helping out your folks & putting your career on hold for them. That dosn’t sound like too extreme a goal. With all the big companies with contracts for the defense forces over there I’d imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to get work in one of the military contract multinationals or big industry - and those types of
jobs usually come either unionised or with good pay and benefits. Including reasonable paid holidays.

Anyone I know in Law in any country is a slave.

Just don’t go doing aNything mad like joining the military - you want to tKe their money not them take your soul and mentaL health - or legs.
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