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[News] Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
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Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another

By PAUL GEITNER

BRUSSELS — For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.

“The purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure,” the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, ruled in a case involving department store workers in Spain. “The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be unfit for work.”

With much of Europe mired in recession, governments struggling to reduce budget deficits and officials trying to combat high unemployment, the ruling is a reminder of just how hard it is to shake up long-established and legally protected labor practices that make it hard to put more people to work and revive sinking economies.

The workers originally won their case in a Spanish court, where they argued that collective bargaining agreements made a distinction between annual leave and sick leave that was recognized by Spanish law. The National Association of Large Distribution Businesses, known as Anged, appealed to the Supreme Court in Madrid, which then asked the Court of Justice for a ruling on how to apply European law covering working times.

The Court of Justice had previously ruled that a person who gets sick before going on vacation is entitled to reschedule the vacation, and on Thursday it said that right extended into the vacation itself.

“The point at which the temporary incapacity arose is irrelevant,” the court found.

The ruling applies across the European Union of 27 countries.

A spokesman for Anged said the association was not able to comment because it first needed to study the details of the ruling.

Spanish unions have stepped up protests in recent weeks against attempts by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to ease restrictions on hiring and firing and otherwise overhaul labor laws.

The ruling does not apply to the 25 percent of the Spanish labor force that is currently unemployed.

fair use applies, from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/world/...tions.html

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06-22-2012 01:08 PM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
No wonder Europe is in financial trouble.... here in the States, if you take paid vacation (holiday) time and you're sick during the vacation... you'll return to work and tell your boss this and he'll say, "Huh. So sorry about that, really tough luck, Joe... now... get back to work, we're behind in production!".

Can't believe all the benefits all these socialist states are getting... and people wonder why the European system is in a slow-motion collapse? Oh-jeez

Production and productivity is not high enough to support their socialistic programs, so what does the government say? "Take more vacation time, folks!" Yeah, that's going to help things quite a bit. Rolleyes

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06-22-2012 01:11 PM
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Dreamcatcher Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
Its took me ages to stop laughing Too-funny

Im on holiday from sunday for around 10 days if I become sick then these holidays are scrapped and I re-aquire them as Im on the sick also I get three months sick leave a year on top of my 5 weeks allocated holiday time.

If we dont get what we want we strike, oh and I work for walmart who are the one of the best companies to work for in the uk Too-funny
06-22-2012 01:24 PM
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big_dave Online

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Post: #4
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
We’re entitled to 12 weeks of sick leave in the US (FMLA leave) but it’s generally unpaid. I had to take 3 weeks of FMLA leave in March when I became too exhausted to continue working. (Two weeks of this were paid short-term disability leave, but this is not required). When I went back to work again in April, I was exhausted again by the end of the month. I quit since the alternative would be to get fired for poor job performance and for falling asleep at work.

In theory, I could have requested a reduced work schedule but the paperwork was onerous, requiring the results of my sleep study. I had that consultation on April 23 which was too late to be useful for completing the paperwork. After two months on CPAP, I’m finally feeling like I can work productively.

I had a weird work schedule that contributed to my exhaustion: 12:30 PM Friday, 9:30 AM Saturday, 7:00 AM Sunday, and 9:30 AM Monday and Tuesday, all 8-hour shifts. I had requested a different work schedule many times over a full year, but was denied every time. It seems very strange that my former employer would pay me two weeks’ short-term disability pay but would not let me switch to an easier work schedule.
06-22-2012 01:57 PM
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Post: #5
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
(06-22-2012 01:24 PM)Dreamcatcher Wrote:  If we dont get what we want we strike, oh and I work for walmart who are the one of the best companies to work for in the uk Too-funny
Imports and globalization
Critics argue that this pressures vendors to shift manufacturing jobs to China and other nations, where the cost of labor is less expensive.

In the mid-1990s, Walmart had a "Buy American" campaign. Yet by 2005, about 60% of Walmart's merchandise was imported, compared to 6% in 1995.
In 2004, Walmart spent $18 billion on Chinese products alone, and if it were an individual economy, the company would rank as China's eighth largest trading partner, ahead of Russia, Australia, and Canada.
One group estimates that the growing US trade deficit with China, heavily influenced by Walmart imports, is estimated to have moved over 1.5 million jobs that might otherwise be in America to China between 1989 and 2003.
According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), "Walmart is the single largest importer of foreign-produced goods in the United States", their biggest trading partner is China, and their trade with China alone constitutes approximately 10% of the total US trade deficit with China as of 2004
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Walmart
06-22-2012 02:31 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
Yes, no wonder they are having issues with people throwing sh*tfits.

The best example I found of labor laws gone wrong was my brother's trip to France several years ago. He didn't want to go but the trip was to be just two days including travel time. He arrived on a Friday and they got to work at about noon. They were working on the meter (he works for a flow meter company) and he said he had maybe an hour more of work to go but at 5, they all quit. They said they couldn't work any further. So instead of working for one hour, they paid for his weekend at the hotel, paid to have his ticket changed, paid to have his clothes cleaned each day (he'd only brought one extra set), and paid for his meals. That part of the factory remained closed the entire weekend. Then, Monday morning, it took them less than an hour to finish up.

But apparently, all that they paid him would have been much cheaper than paying fines for each worker who stayed that extra hour. What a crock of horse hockey.

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06-22-2012 02:57 PM
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mjbearit Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
Wow. I guess I'm at the bottom of the heap. I am on salary (don't look like that it isn't much!) and I get no overtime pay for working 10-14 hour days, sometimes 7 days a week. I have no official paid sick leave, if I am too sick to come to work I can work from home. We got rid of vacation time earlier this year. We no longer accrue any vacation time. If we want some time off, and if it does not affect the operation, we can ask our managers nicely if we can take a day off. We are so short handed after all the layoffs that everyone has multiple jobs so at what point will a day off not affect the business? The good news is that I got my bonus last week. It was so small I thought I didn't get one at first. I had to go back and do some math. Strike? We have no rights to do so, we are not union. If we tried that we would just be fired. I have been here 15 years and it used to be a highly desirable place to work. It is getting closer and closer to sweat-shop status!

As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

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06-22-2012 03:17 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
Rural letter carriers have been without a contract for over 3 years. Back when the gas prices first started rising, they waited two years then gave them a 2 cent per mile increase. Yay.

Asheville city police and fire department went 3 yrs without a raise and finally got one cent an hour increase. The city council, meanwhile, continues to get increases and voted down a proposal to take a cut in pay.

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06-22-2012 05:26 PM
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mjbearit Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
Sounds like Asheville is taking lessons from the Feds. Someone should tell them that those are the WRONG lessons to take!

As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

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06-22-2012 05:40 PM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Europeans: On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another
(06-22-2012 05:26 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  Asheville city police and fire department went 3 yrs without a raise and finally got one cent an hour increase. The city council, meanwhile, continues to get increases and voted down a proposal to take a cut in pay.

It's real easy to see what that happened...

Police & Fire Dept workers = can't vote to raise their own pay.

City Council Members = can vote to raise their own pay.

Sorta like Congress-critters, methinks. Oh-jeez

Heck, I wish I had a job where all I had to do to get a raise is vote for it. That sure would be nice. Thinking-about

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06-22-2012 06:14 PM
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