While not required by federal law, PTO is almost universal and can be a point of negotiation.
Paid time off in the workplace has been a discussion topic since 1910, when President William Howard Taft proposed legislation to mandate workers in America receive at least two months of paid vacation each year.
Congress disagreed, even though most “white-collar” workers at the time were granted paid vacation time each year.
By 1940, labor unions entered the discussion, requiring that hourly workers under collective bargaining agreements also receive paid time off.
While the federal Fair Labor Standards Act established in 1938 does not require people to be paid for time not at work, including vacations, sick leave or holidays, PTO is a matter of agreement between employers and employees.
In the 21st century, PTO is a given. It is an expected employee benefit that often may be a negotiating point between an employer and a prospective employee.
Data indicates that occupants of the C-suite and others in the highest income bracket on average receive the most PTO and they leave fewer of their days unused each year.
The number of paid days off varies by industry, with executives and managers generally receiving more than those in service industries.
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