Summer Break: A New Idea in Cost-Cutting

More companies are offering employees unpaid leave -- and some are even requiring them to take it

As the summer-vacation season gets under way, many employees in the U.S. are discovering an abundance of something that was scarce during the hyperspeed days of the recent boom: time off. Consider Adobe Systems in San Jose, Calif., where most members of the 3,000 person workforce will be goin' fishin' when the company closes shop the first week of July. Or Brady Corp. in Milwaukee, where 980 employees have an unexpected, if unpaid, nine days off this summer. Or Intel's Rio Rancho (N.M.) plant, where employees in some departments may elect to take two weeks of unpaid leave over the next few months.

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