Not Sick, But Still Need Time Off? There’s a ‘Day’ for That!

By Christina Lorey
November 4, 2022

Mark your calendar: November 30th is “National Stay Home Because You’re Well Day.”

Over the years, our work lives have grown increasingly hectic. Too many people are overworked, underpaid, and yet still unable to pull themselves away from their jobs.

Enter “National Stay at Home Because You’re Well Day”…

What It Is

Instead of faking it, a man named Thomas Roy came up with the idea for a day where people can call in “well” and have that be a valid excuse for missing work. The day is unofficially observed each November 30th!

Its Long History

In 1910, President Taft proposed that every American worker should get two or three months of vacation a year. His plan was immediately shot down by legislators. By 1940, 60% of union workers had some allotment of paid vacation days. It wasn’t until the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 that Congress guaranteed all Americans a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid time off to recover from illness, new parenthood, or deal with medical issues of immediate family members. 

Paid Leave Across America

In Nevada, the Paid Time Off Law legally allows employees to take time off without providing any reason to their employer. In Vermont, employees must work for a full year before they’re entitled to paid time off. Washington, D.C. and Connecticut have expanded the use of paid family and medical leave to include military events related to an active duty family member. And in the town of Emeryville, California, you can use paid sick leave to care for a service dog!

Time Off in Wisconsin

Wisconsin employers are not required to provide what the state calls “fringe benefits” such as vacation, holiday, or sick pay. However, all businesses with at least 50 employees must give workers up to six weeks off during a calendar year for adoption or the birth or a child and up to two additional weeks per year to care for family members with severe health issues. 


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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