Wal-Mart CEO takes month-long hiatus
But vacation is defended by a respected employment expert, who says CEOs need the rest and Americans in general fare poorly with time off.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - While the average American takes less than three weeks off each year, Wal-Mart chief Lee Scott is reportedly planning a month long getaway.

But some are defending Scott's extended R&R, noting how executives in high stress positions need time to unwind and how American's don't get nearly as much time off as their foreign counterparts.

"Some expect CEOs to be chained to the desk. Most put in 12 or more hours a day, often working seven days a week," John Challenger, head of employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. "But we should want leaders in high-pressure situations to have time to decompress."

Challenger said that with advances in technology, in all likelyhood Scott will be working while on vacation anyway.

Wal-Mart (Research) did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

And Challenger's statement noted that on average, Americans get 16 days of vacation a year. And 30 percent of workers don't even take all their allotted days.

It contrasted that with other developed countries, where it said vacation time is mandated by law. Spanish workers get 30 days off each year, while those in Austria get 25 and Switzerland get 20, the statement said.

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