Company: Miriam’s Kitchen.
Number of employees: 19 full-time, 3 part-time.
Every job at Miriam’s Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides services for the homeless, comes with seven weeks of annual leave.
But there’s a catch: The seven-week allotment includes both sick leave and vacation time. And since the nonprofit is open every weekday of the year, employees do not receive federal holidays.
“When you first hear seven weeks, it’s like, ‘Whoa, that’s a lot of leave,’” Executive Director Scott Schenkelberg said. “But it’s more about flexibility — you may not normally use all of your sick leave, or may not care to take the day off on Columbus Day. This way, you can take time off when you want to.”
Sheryl Perkins, a case manager at Miriam’s Kitchen, said she was floored when she first heard about the organization’s leave policy.
“It was more than I could ever imagine,” said Perkins, 54. “I went home and told my mom, ‘You’re not going to believe it. We get like a million days of leave.’”
“It’s a creative approach to giving us time off,” Baasch said, “especially since the work we do is pretty intense.”
After seven years at the organization, employees can apply for a 10-week , fully-paid sabbatical.
“It’s basically time off to do anything you want to,” Schenkelberg said.
Last summer, Steve Badt, director of kitchen operations, took a sabbatical to spend time with his two children.
“I got a lot of good dad time in,” he said. “After 10 years of waking up at 4:30 a.m., I needed a breather.”
Badt had another incentive to stay home and relax, too: “I was warned by my boss that if I e-mailed or called in to work, he would end my sabbatical,” he said.