If you’re European and Catch a Cold on Vacation, Please Take Another
Europe’s highest court ruled that getting sick on one’s vacation legally entitled the individual to a “do-over”. This suit was brought by a department store workers union in Spain, a country that currently has an unemployment rate of roughly 24%. Read the whole story at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/world/europe/europe-court-says-sick-workers-can-retake-vacations.html
Why You Should Care
We all love vacation. Nothing is more frustrating then when you head on your vacation and you get hit with a bug. Maybe you caught a cold on the plane heading to your island destination. Maybe you ate a bad street taco in a rugged Central American town that didn’t agree with your sensitive stomach. But very few of us in the United States would claim that our employers should give us more vacation time to make up for our misfortune.
This story about the Spanish union lawsuit is a stark reminder of the inefficiency of the European employment system and the difficulties facing European leaders trying to cut costs and save the European Union through, among other cost cutting, the rationalization of public worker benefit costs. If we are going to get through these difficult times, we have to have honest discussions, and since most European workers are given 4-6 weeks of vacation every year, it is utterly ridiculous that a “do-over” is now the law of the land.