Somebody's finally had it with the the U.S.'s notorious "live-to-work" culture: Employers.
Well, at least some of them think their employees need a break.
In fact, one firm is so convinced of it that it's willing to pay its workers more if they agree to take off for a couple weeks.
FullContact, a four-year-old software startup, offers its employees an annual $7,500 bonus for taking vacation.
If the employee so much as opens up a work email during her time off, she forfeits the entire bonus.
“When we say ‘work-life balance,’ this is our proof that we mean it,” Jeanette Russell, director of finance and operations at the Denver-based firm, told Bloomberg Businessweek.
Ditching work might seem like the one thing you don't have to pay employees to do, but a 2014 survey by Glassdoor found that only 25 percent of employees nationally used all of their allotted vacation time. The percentage of workers who take all of their time and report doing no work during that time is even smaller.
FullContact's version of a vacation-friendly policy is perhaps unique, but the strategy underpinning it is increasingly common in a rebounding economy where competition for skilled workers is fierce.
While companies have remained stingy with pay, they're trying to recruit and retain employees by upping lifestyle-oriented benefits, including generous vacation and parental leave policies.
The trend is particularly pronounced in the tech sector, with leading Silicon Valley firms engaged in an arms race to out do each other's paid time-off policies.
But the phenomenon has crept into other sectors as well. Grant Thorton LLP, a major accounting firm based in San Antonio, recently announced it would offer its 40,000 employees unlimited vacation.
Vacation policies that at face value sound too generous to sustain might actually be cheaper than more conventional forms of compensation, such as pay raises or benefit increases.
While the latter compensation implies a fixed future cost, vacation can be cheap as long as employees negotiate with employers to take time off when the company can best function without them.
But it's still likely many years before super-generous vacation policies go mainstream in the U.S.
A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management of its 270,000 members found that only 2 percent of employers offer unlimited time off (of any type) and only 1 percent specifically offer unlimited vacation.
And few employers indicated they were considering putting in place such a policy in the near future.