Vacation Pay After Being Fired or Laid Off

If you have been fired or laid off from your job, you probably have a host of issues to consider: Will you be able to find another job or source of income quickly? What will you do about medical insurance? Will your employer give you a good recommendation?Vacation Time

You may not be thinking about your vacation pay at the time of the job termination. Many jobs do not provide vacation days or vacation pay. Vacation pay is not required under federal or California law. Also, if employers do choose to provide you with vacation days, the employer is not legally required to compensate you for those days. However, many employers do offer a number of paid vacation days to employees, which is usually a set number of days per year, or is based on the number of days or hours worked. Sometimes vacation days are included in the general category of paid time off (or PTO). Importantly, under California law, if an employer has agreed with its employees to pay for vacation time, it’s illegal to fail to pay it, and can in fact result in criminal charges.

Fair Compensation After Termination

It’s critically important that when you leave a job, or are terminated, you are fairly compensated for your time on the job. This includes the vacation benefits that you are legally entitled to. When an employee is quit or fired, he or she is owed pay for all earned vacation time. Vacation benefits are legally considered a part of an employee’s compensation. The employer is not allowed to take away your earned vacation time when you leave, or refuse to pay it out, except in very narrow circumstances.

In some cases, it may be difficult to know exactly how much vacation time has been earned. Your employer should be tracking and documenting this information, however. Some employers may have a policy that paid vacation time is accrued after a year of employment. In that case, California courts have held that the vacation time in that situation will accrue as it is earned. Some employers may have a policy that limits the amount of vacation time that can be accrued by an employee. For example, an employee may be only allowed to accrue a maximum of two weeks of vacation, and after that they may be required to take vacation time before any more can be accrued. This policy has been found to be legal, because employers aren’t taking away something that an employee has already earned. If this has happened to you or someone you know, you should contact an attorney experienced in pursuing vacation pay violations under the California Labor Code.

Vacation leave can also be important when determining overtime benefits, as well as other employment benefits, under federal and state law. Overtime is typically calculated based upon the number of hours worked, and if you use a vacation day during a week, that typically is not factored in to overtime calculations.

Contact Liberty Law If You Have Lost Vacation Pay After Quitting or Being Fired

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that employers should pay their employees for all of the wages to which they are entitled, including vacation time. If employers fail to fully pay employees, they should be held legally responsible.

If you have been denied vacation time to which you believe you are entitled, call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland employment attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She will strive to ensure that you receive all the compensation you are owed, plus any owned penalties or interest. Call today for a free consultation on your case, and to learn more about your legal rights. You may be entitled to the compensation, as well as possibly other damages.

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