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View Full Version : In America what is a "personal day" ?



AKLnut
10-10-2010, 07:37 PM
Could someone explain how jobs and holidays work in america for me?

One of our US colleagues is in a disagreement with our head office over a personal day. She took it to rest after a hard week and theyre saying its not a good enough reason. She's saying a personal day is a day off for whatever reason she wants.

What the heck is a personal day??

catrancher
10-10-2010, 08:28 PM
A "personal day" over here is typically just that. A day off for any reason whatsoever. Or no reason at all. It's for some "personal" reason.

For instance, the company I work for has pretty much done away with a sick leave policy per se. Now, that same amount of time is just called "personal time". I can use it if I get sick, or use just because I need a day off sometime. There's no justification required.

Tom (:macwave:... hope this helps!)

Forgot to mention holidays that you also asked about. Over on this side of the pond, the government specifies the holidays each year. These are pretty much optional for companies but as a matter of course, most companies follow most of these. They wouldn't have many employees left if they adopted a Scrooge type attitude and decided everyone had to come into the office on Christmas. Anyway, here's the list of US holidays for 2010 as specified by the US Government:


Friday, January 1 New Year’s Day
Monday, January 18 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 15* Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 31 Memorial Day
Monday, July 5** Independence Day
Monday, September 6 Labor Day
Monday, October 11 Columbus Day
Thursday, November 11 Veterans Day
Thursday, November 25 Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 24*** Christmas Day

* This holiday is designated as "Washington’s Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

** July 4, 2010 (the legal public holiday for Independence Day), falls on a Sunday. For most Federal employees, Monday, July 5, will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. (See section 3(a) of Executive order 11582, February 11, 1971.)

*** December 25, 2010 (the legal public holiday for Christmas Day), falls on a Saturday. For most Federal employees, Friday, December 24, will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(b).)

These holidays are in addition to the normal vacation time or personal time most employees get.

So, in my case, I get 10 days of personal time off per year. I get all the government specified holidays, and I get 20 days of vacation time per year.

Hope this helps (again)!

Tom (:macwave:... once more, into the fray!)

foreverducky
10-10-2010, 09:18 PM
Yep a personal day is exactly that...personal. For whatever reason and in fact you don't have to say why. You can just take your personal day (as long as you have them).

uscwest
11-10-2010, 04:24 PM
A "personal day" over here is typically just that. A day off for any reason whatsoever. Or no reason at all. It's for some "personal" reason.

For instance, the company I work for has pretty much done away with a sick leave policy per se. Now, that same amount of time is just called "personal time". I can use it if I get sick, or use just because I need a day off sometime. There's no justification required.

Tom (:macwave:... hope this helps!)

Forgot to mention holidays that you also asked about. Over on this side of the pond, the government specifies the holidays each year. These are pretty much optional for companies but as a matter of course, most companies follow most of these. They wouldn't have many employees left if they adopted a Scrooge type attitude and decided everyone had to come into the office on Christmas. Anyway, here's the list of US holidays for 2010 as specified by the US Government:


These holidays are in addition to the normal vacation time or personal time most employees get.

So, in my case, I get 10 days of personal time off per year. I get all the government specified holidays, and I get 20 days of vacation time per year.

Hope this helps (again)!

Tom (:macwave:... once more, into the fray!)
Following Tom's lead I get 13 days of personal/sick leave per year, all of the holidays, and 26 days of vacation. If I don't use my personal/sick leave in any given year it continues to accumulate with no limit. This has come in handy with the amount of time I have spent in and out of hospitals over the last several years. My vacation time I can let build up to a max of 30 days per year. Then if I don't use that by the end of the next year I will lose. So theoretically I could end up having 56 days of vacation in one year.

Kate
11-10-2010, 05:35 PM
Oh i wish we had personal days - i could do with a few of them!

Mari
11-10-2010, 05:43 PM
Oh i wish we had personal days - i could do with a few of them!

same here!

I had no idea they were different from vacation days

Over here I only get vacation days, if for whatever reason I miss work, then they "discount" that day from my vacation days.... :nono: so... you can imagine how many "vacation" days I have left with two little ones who get sick pretty regularly... :thumbsdown:

Kate
11-10-2010, 05:49 PM
same here!

I had no idea they were different from vacation days

Over here I only get vacation days, if for whatever reason I miss work, then they "discount" that day from my vacation days.... :nono: so... you can imagine how many "vacation" days I have left with two little ones who get sick pretty regularly... :thumbsdown:

:thumbsdown:
What a pain for you - doesnt seem right to use "vacation days" for sick babies does it. Personal days are the way to go i reckon! :thumbsup:

Deb
12-10-2010, 04:34 PM
What happens if you have used all of your personal days and then get too sick to come into work? Or if you are sick and it lasts longer than your allotted personal days? :unsure:

Mari, the system you have doesn't seem fair at all! :(

Tink
12-10-2010, 05:00 PM
If you don't have enough time left to take for a sickness/illness whether it be a personal day, vacation day, floating holiday, or sick time, you are then docked the amount you would have been paid for the days you took.

Unless, you have a situation that allows you to go out on disability or make use of the family medical leave act (which does not include pay in all cases).

uscwest
12-10-2010, 05:05 PM
Here is what the US Department of Labor has to say about the Family Medical Leave Act.

Question: What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
Answer: The Family and Medical Leave Act (http://webapps.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/statutes/fmla.htm) ("FMLA") provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave.



So basically it is non-paid leave and you are still guaranteed your job when you come back.

I should also note that the Federal Government allows employees to donate unused leave to people who are in the situation that all their leave has been used up.
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Source of FAQ:
http://www-test.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/faq/fmla/fmlafaq25.htm-->

Britchick
12-10-2010, 06:19 PM
I don't think we know how lucky we are here. Some people here think of sick days as an entitlement. I think that we'll see a change in this certainly in the public sector in the future though. I do like the idea of a couple of personal days a year when you just can't cope anymore, I think it would help stress levels just knowing it was available.

foreverducky
12-10-2010, 06:32 PM
I like to think of personal days as Mental Health Days. :D

Britchick
12-10-2010, 07:58 PM
I like to think of personal days as Mental Health Days. :D

Definitely! Lol

Rosie0610
13-10-2010, 02:23 PM
It should also be added that FMLA does not apply to all businesses. Smaller businesses aren't required to offer FMLA to employees.

I work P/T since having DS. Even as a p/t worker I am still entitled to 10 sick/personal days, all 'Federal' holidays paid and 3 weeks + 2 days vacation days. Also, if you take more than 3 sick/personal days in a row you need to return with a Dr note and they count that as 1 absence. We don't have any carry-over for sick days at our work-that's a pity!

Tink
13-10-2010, 02:58 PM
Yep, Rosie. That is so true. Also, it completely depends upon the company whether you need a Drs note after three days or some other time frame.

I once worked for a company that required an obituary to take time off for a family death. How rotten is that? I know there are all sorts of people in this world, but seriously? How many days of work were actually lost to people lying about their mother or other immediate family member dying?

Johnie
13-10-2010, 03:13 PM
If you work in an at will state, then a doctors note really doesn't matter sometimes. Virginia is at will. They can fire you for whatever reason they want as long as it does not violate a federally protected class. Or the company has guidelines regarding firing.