Studies show Americans leave a large amount of vacation time on the table every year

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Catherine Shyu is feeding a monkey in this video and her boss paid for her to do it. It is part of his paid vacation policy.

"My first one was a cruise around the Caribbean, last year was to Belize and then to Hawaii," said Shyu.

It is more than just giving her paid time off. Her company also gave her $7,500 to take the trip. All the employees at full contact can do it.

"The real spirit of the program is to have people, I think, bring their best selves to work."

Sound too good to be true? Her boss, Bart Lorang, explains there is a catch or two.

"One is they have to go on vacation to get the money. Two is they have to disconnect and go off the grid, so completely detached from electronics and communications to get the money. And three is they can't actually work while they're on vacation," said Lorang.

The society for human resource management says it is a rare concept--just one percent of companies offer a vacation stipend. But it is an idea that is growing in many forms.

"It just forces us to go off, do something else, and come back ready to work again," said Shyu.

Experts say the average employee's work week lasts much longer than 40 hours and that adds up to roughly 658 million unused vacation days each year.

"If somebody is actually relaxed and productive after their vacation, they're a better employee," said Lorang.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.