Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price has some strong words for the American workplace, saying it’s unique in making workers feel bad for paid time off.
Virtually everyone has received an email auto-response explaining the person will be out of the office for X number of days for health reasons, maternity leave, paternity leave, family responsibilities, or a host of other reasons. Price makes the case that the explanations are unnecessary and indicative of a bigger issue.
“Only in America are workers made to feel so guilty that they have to ‘apologize for the late response’ and put an excuse for why they’re out,” writes Price in a LinkedIn post. “If you need to, direct people to a coworker or team that can help while you’re gone. Don’t check your email unless you want to diminish the benefits of your time off.
“Time off is a benefit you earned,” Price adds. “Use it all, unapologetically. Sick but work from home? Take the time off. Don’t have anywhere to go but feel burned out? Take the time off. Just need a random mental health day to chill on the couch? Take the time off.”
Price goes on to make the case that bosses don’t need to know why an employee is taking time off and shouldn’t ask. He says bosses also shouldn’t expect to be able to reach their employees during PTO.
“I heard recently about someone who always tells their boss ‘I’m camping’ when they go on PTO so they’d know he had no service,” Price continues. “This is the result of a toxic culture that assumes people exist only to work, and are not whole people with full, rich lives.”
Price is famous for the progressive way he treats employees, lowering his salary to $70,000 while raising his employees’ minimum salary to match in 2015. Since then, he has continued to be a vocal advocate for fair treatment and pay of employees and a critic of the status quo where executives often make hundreds of times the amount as their employees.
Price has also been a proponent of letting employees work from wherever they want, saying: “If you get your work done, that’s all that matters.”