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Can my old employer refuse to pay me for vacation time not taken?
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Can my old employer refuse to pay me for vacation time not taken?

I quit my old job on good terms but I am getting the run around on my wages due for vacation time not taken. Can they legally not pay what Ive earned.
Additional Details
I'm in Alabama.


This depends on how your vacation pay program was structured. If you earned time as you went, for example, you were credited with x hours each pay period, then these monies must be paid to you at the time of termination.

If you were on a "use it or lose it" plan, i.e., every Jan 1 you were credited with 40 hours which "expired" if not used by June 1, then your employer does not have to pay you for time not taken since you did not "earn" those hours. Kind of splitting hairs, but most legal issues are like that.

Get a copy of their vacation pay policy and review it to see how they credit hours. If you find that they do owe you $$, the case law that supports it is Suarez vs. US Plastics, 1986. Good luck.

It depends on your state, I live in Ohio and the employer does not have to pay...Indiana companies do have to pay. What state are you in, that would help

This is an exerpt from the Alabama department of Labor website:
Can the Employer keep my vacation pay after I leave the company?
Vacation pay is considered a fringe benefit of the company and is not a required payment by law. It is left up to the employer whether they offer the employee fringe benefits such as severance, vacation, annual leave, sick leave & bonus pay. The only exception would be something written in the company handbook stating that the employee will be given these benefits.

Vacation pay is not governed by any federal law nor by state law in Alabama.

Only by Company Policy or CBA

Find out what the labor laws in your state say about vacation time. Here in California, vacation time is time earned, therefore it is time to be paid whether it is taken or not at the time of termination.

You earn vacation by the completion of the year. Remember when you got your first vacation after 1 yr?

An employer usually doesn't not have to pay unused vacation time, sick days, or unused personal days.

Helen Scott
It depends on what state you live in.

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