Is Paid Annual Leave Required in the US?

The United States is one of about 10 countries that do not require employers to grant employees paid annual leave, and it is the only Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country to not require paid annual leave. About one-fourth of American workers have no paid annual leave or paid holidays. Other countries that do not require paid annual leave include Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Suriname and Guyana.

More about annual leave:

  • Although paid annual leave is not required in the U.S., many employers do offer paid annual leave — about 15 days, on average. That is less than in the majority of developed nations.

  • Employers in most European Union countries offer employees about 20 days paid annual leave, plus paid holidays. In countries such as France and Finland, employers offer as much as 30 days paid annual leave, plus paid holidays.

  • The U.S. also is one of about 15 countries that do not require time off every week — others include Argentina, Australia and Georgia — as well as one of about the few that do not require paid maternity leave. Others include Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
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Discussion Comments


I met a guy on a dating site. He was dressed in all US Army regalia. We've been in contact on yahoo messenger. He also sends me touching love letters on my emails. He says he needs to see my face before he dies in Afghanistan, where he is right now. A few days ago, he asked me to request leave for him, by writing the army helpline. I did not expect to get a response. But lo and behold, I received a reply the following day. They told me the request was being processed and I would have to wire $800us through Western Union, for release of Sgt. Paul Spalding, who will refund me the money on his arrival in New York. The following day, I received another email telling me that I was anonymous to the US Army, but not anymore, that I am the next of kin to this sergeant. When I asked him about this, he said yes, that he wanted to surprise me and asked me how I know. I told him that the administrator of the Army Helpline told me. I really don't know what to think now that I found this site.


@anon322917: Let me guess. You've been talking online with someone who claims to be in the US Army, is stationed in Afghanistan and says that, in order for him to get leave and come to see you, that you will need to wire a large sum of money to someone, and he's given you an address where you can send it. He's a widower with a child, right?

This is a *scam*! The U.S. armed forces do *not* require family members to pay for leave. The government pays for it, never the family. I'm in the US and I know a lot of people in the Army. The person you're talking with is not an American, not in the Army, not in Afghanistan and just wants your money. Period. I hate to tell you like this, but I'd also hate it if you lost your hard-earned money to a scammer and got your heart broken in the process.

Tell him you're on to him and you know he just wants money. He will be "insulted" first, but it will end up with him typing a stream of profanity because he got caught.

Many, many women have been caught in this scam, but if you don't send him any money, you are much better off than a lot of them who sent several hundred dollars and got nothing out of it except a heartache. Tell the creep to buzz off and block him from contacting you again.


Do US Army soldiers require family members to pay for leave in Kabul camp victory Afghanistan? I have been told I had to pay for leave for Army personnel. Is this true?

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