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Wage and Hour Claims for Vacation Time

By Gregory Thyberg on July 23, 2018


Lady JusticeThere are state and federal laws in place to protect workers and ensure they receive adequate compensation for the time they devote to their job. While most people are quick to dispute unpaid wages or wages that are paid improperly, many fail to act when faced with unlawful practices regarding vacation time.

In most cases, this is because workers simply aren’t aware of their full rights regarding vacation time. Those who have been denied time off or payment for earned vacation time should work with an experienced wage and hour lawyer, such as Gregory Thyberg, to ensure their rights are protected.

Mr. Thyberg can assist clients in filing wage and hour claims for vacation time in the Sacramento, CA area so that they get the full benefits they have worked so hard to earn.

Earning Vacation Time

It is important for employees to understand that no company is legally obligated to offer vacation time. However, roughly 90 percent of private companies do offer some type of vacation compensation. If a company offers this benefit, they must adhere to any policies and regulations that have been set in place by the state.

In the state of California, vacation time is considered a type of wage, which means that time is accrued as work is performed. So, for example, if a company offers 10 days of vacation for each year of employment, and a worker were to quit or be fired six months into the year, they would have already earned five days of vacation.

There are certain allowances that can be made by employers when it comes to providing vacation time, including the following:

  • A company does not have to offer vacation time to all employees. It is fairly common practice to deny vacation time to employees who do not work full-time.
  • A company can require that an employee work for the company for a certain amount of time before earning vacation time. For instance, they may require a six to 12-month probationary period before vacation time can be accrued.
  • Companies can place a reasonable cap on how much vacation time can be earned without being used. For example, the company may dictate that if an employee has 200 hours of earned vacation time, they may not accrue any more vacation time until part of that balance is used.

Can I Lose Vacation Time?

In the state of California, an employee can never lose vacation time that they have already earned. It is very important for workers to understand this right, as this is a common reason for filing a wage and hour claim for vacation time.

If an employee quits or is fired, he or she has a right to be paid for any unused vacation time that has been accrued. Vacation time must be paid at the same rate of pay the employee was earning when he or she left the company.

An employer also has no legal right to take away unused vacation time or classify it as expired. This is an important distinction from the allowable cap policy. While a company can prevent a worker from accruing more vacation time once they have earned a certain number of hours, they can never take away the hours that have already been earned. Any earned vacation time must remain on the books until it is used or paid out at the worker’s current rate of pay.

Learn More

If you have been denied time off or pay for vacation time, it may be time to file a wage and hour claim. Experienced attorney Gregory Thyberg can assist you in this process to ensure you get the full compensation you are due for your losses. To learn more, contact us at your earliest convenience to set up a personal consultation.

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