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Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day – April 3, 2023

Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day is celebrated every year on April 3. Though the origins of the holiday are largely unknown, the idea is to stay away from work if it won’t be fun. But if work is going to be fun, don’t miss it for anything! In the U.S., there is no legislation mandating paid annual leave for employees. However, the Family Medical Leave Act (F.M.L.A.) was passed in 1993, granting employees unpaid leave to recover from serious illnesses, care for a new child, or care for immediate family members who are sick.

History of Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day

Although the origins of Don’t Go to Work Unless it’s Fun Day are unknown, the idea is to stay away from work if it won’t be fun. In the U.S., the average company provides employees with about 10 to 20 days of leave per year. Interestingly, all the way back in 1910, President William Howard Taft tried to revolutionize the system. He suggested that every American employee needed around two to three months of vacation annually “in order to continue his work next year with the energy and effectiveness which it ought to have.” However, Congress never enacted the law. In other European countries like Sweden and Germany, legislations were passed requiring employers to provide employees with a mandatory seven weeks of paid vacation per year.

In 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act (F.M.L.A.) was passed in the U.S., guaranteeing workers a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave to recover from serious illnesses, care for a new child, or care for immediate family members who are sick. In 2009, Congress attempted to pass “The Paid Vacation Act,” which required that employers provide a minimum of one week of paid annual leave to employees. Unfortunately, this attempt proved unsuccessful. Ever since, the only major shift in the culture of paid leave began in 2013, with a few states mandating a minimum number of paid sick days every year. These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

According to a report released in 2011, 57% of American employees had at least two weeks of vacation that they hadn’t used by the end of the year. Some might attribute this to the fact that the U.S. labor market is highly competitive but the bottom line is that taking leaves is important for the overall productivity and health of the workforce.

Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day timeline

1910
The President’s Proposal

President William Taft proposes two to three months of vacation for workers per year but the bill isn’t passed by Congress.

1961
India Makes History

India passes the “Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,” granting six weeks of paid leave for women who suffer miscarriages at any point in their pregnancies.

1993
The Right to Unpaid Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act (F.M.L.A.) is signed into law.

2009
The Proposed "Paid Vacation Act" Flops

“The Paid Vacation Act” is introduced to Congress but is not passed into law.

Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day FAQs

Who sponsored the Family Medical Leave Act bill?

It was sponsored by Representative William D. Ford.

What are the F.M.L.A. requirements?

An employee must have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, for an employer with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

When did William Taft become President?

He was elected as President on March 4, 1909.

Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day Activities

  1. Take time off work

    Before you go off the radar, make sure to take permission from your employers first. Make use of your vacation days and take some time off. It’s healthy!

  2. Just Relax

    Vacation days are for laying back and getting much-needed rest. The perfect balance of work and relaxation is important for a healthy body and mind.

  3. Spread the word

    Don’t keep this a secret. Share this information with your loved ones. You might as well plan a group trip while you’re at it!

5 Countries With The Best Employee Leave Policies

  1. Finland

    In Finland, employees are entitled to 30 paid vacation days, 10 days of sick leave, and 164 days of paid parental leave for both parents.

  2. Germany

    Employees get 24 days of paid vacation, 100% of their wages during the first six weeks of sick leave, and up to three years of parental leave for both parents.

  3. Iceland

    Employees are entitled to 24 days of paid leave per year, a minimum of two sick leave days per month, and 39 weeks of paid parental leave.

  4. Norway

    Employees receive up to 31 days of paid annual leave and 49 weeks of parental leave with 100% of their salary.

  5. Denmark

    Employees get five weeks of paid leave and 30 days of paid sick leave.

Why We Love Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day

  1. It’s a fun day!

    The whole point of this holiday is to have fun at work. And if that is not happening, you’re supposed to take a leave of absence. Whatever the case may be, it’s meant to be an exciting day!

  2. Time off is refreshing

    Taking time off from our regular activities is a good opportunity to recharge and refuel ourselves. As they say, all work and no play can make you a dull person.

  3. Relaxation is healthy

    Studies have shown that relaxation brings down stress levels while lowering the heart rate and blood pressure. It is not possible to be productive if you’re sick.

Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 3Monday
2024April 3Wednesday
2025April 3Thursday
2026April 3Friday
2027April 3Saturday

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