National Group Trying to Increase Vacation Time

September 30, 2003 - Posted at: 12:15am

Jonesboro, AR -- Most Americans would be upset to learn that residents of Australia and many European countries are required by law to get 4 to 5 weeks of vacation each year. Frustrating facts considering some living in the United States don't get one day off until they've worked at their company for a year.

"Giving the person that time I think helps to minimize the stress, and again help recharge the batteries; helping people feel like life is worth living; work to live rather you're living to work," explained Doctor George DeRoeck, a Clinical Psychologist practicing in Jonesboro.

'Work to Live' is the name of a group that's lobbying congress to give Americans a minimum paid-leave law. They're asking for 3 weeks of vacation for anyone who has worked at a job for a year; increasing to 4 weeks after 3 years.

They say the security will allow Americans to enjoy themselves when they're not working. Something some of Doctor George DeRoeck's clients aren't able to do.

"I think a big part of it in this area has to deal with fear: apprehension about losing their job, about not being able to make the bills," DeRoeck added.

Negotiating time off is something he encourages his patients to do when they're applying for a new job.

DeRoeck said, "
I talk with them about scheduling the time for it. For example, give yourself a Saturday afternoon. Instead of always having to cut the grass and get the work done, what would happen if you had it cut every second week."

Doctor DeRoeck think's adding another week to our vacation time would help as long as Americans find the resources they need to enjoy it.

'Work to Live' representatives recently sent a 50,000 signature petition to the chairperson of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Senator Kit Bond of Missouri is on that committee. A representative said over the phone that the senator is looking over documents presented to the committee. However, he has no official comment at this time.