Vacation Leave          Holidays           Bereavement
 
Voting Leave          Jury Duty          Sick Leave          Parental Leave

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue.  Users are advised to seek legal advice from their legal counsel prior to taking (or omitting to take) any action based on the information contained herein.  While we periodically review and update the information contained herein, we do not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein and the information should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. This information was constructed on October 15th 2018.

Are Employees entitled to time off [eg. Vacations, sick leave or holidays] in the United States as per Federal Legislation?

Under Section 207(3)(e) of the FLSA, regular rate has been defined not to include payments made for occasional periods when no work is performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, failure of the employer to provide sufficient work or other similar cause, reasonable payments for travelling expenses or other expenses incurred by an employee in the furtherance of his employer’s interests and properly reimbursable by the employer.

In other words, the FLSA does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or holidays. These benefits are usually a matter of agreement between an Employer and an Employee.

The FMLA is designed to provide employees with temporary job security when faced with certain health-related care responsibilities that preclude them from working. However, it does not provide paid leave.

The FMLA compels employers who employ 50 or more employees to grant qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for:

  • Birth and care of the Employee’s child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the Employee;
  • Birth and care of the Employee’s child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee;
  • Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition; or
  • care of the employee’s own serious health condition.

An Employee will be eligible for FMLA if they have:

  1. Worked at least 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive) for the Employer
  2. Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the FLMA leave date begins.

Further, if the Employee is a family member (spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin) of the Armed Forces, the Employer will provide up to 26 weeks unpaid leave to care for a member of the Armed Forces who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy. This also extends to members of the National Guard or Reserves.

Are Employees entitled to time off for vacations in the Following States?

Alabama

In Alabama, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide vacation leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. 

[Amoco Fabrics and Fibers Co. v. Hilson, 669 So.2d 832 (Ala. Sup. Ct. 1995); ISS International Service Systems v. Alabama Motor Express, 686 So.2d 1184 (Ala. App. 1996)]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment, whether by quit, discharge, or layoff. 

[ISS International Service Systems v. Alabama Motor Express, 686 So.2d 1184 (Ala. App. 1996)]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

[Amoco Fabrics and Fibers Co. v. Hilson, 669 So.2d 832 (Ala. Sup. Ct. 1995); ISS International Service Systems v. Alabama Motor Express, 686 So.2d 1184 (Ala. App. 1996)]

Alaska

In Alaska, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. 

In Alaska, an employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment. 

Alaska’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding any obligation an employer may have regarding payment of accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the policy or contract is silent on the matter.

Arizona

In Arizona, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

[AZ Industrial Commission’s pamphlet, “The State of Arizona’s Labor Law: Your Wages and Working.”]

If an employer chooses to provide such provide vacation benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Arizone State Legislature]

The Arizona Attorney General has recognized that employers may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” leave policy requiring employees to use vacation by a set date or lose it, so long as employees have a reasonable opportunity to use the leave. 

[AZ Atty. General Op. I80-120.]

An employer would also likely be free to implement a policy or enter into a contract that caps the amount of vacation leave an employee can accumulate over time.

Neither Arizona’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding an employer’s ability to deny or restrict the payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract where it refuses to pay accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment,
  • refuse to pay an employee accrued vacation upon separation from employment when the policy does not address whether accrued vacation will be paid upon separation from employment,
  • deny an employee payment of accrued or earned vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employee fails to meet certain standards, such as failing to give timely notice of resignation or being terminated for cause

Arkansas

Employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

If an employer’s policy or contract provides for payment of accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment, the employer must comply with the terms of the policy or contract.

If an employer’s policy or contract provides for payment of accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment, the employer must comply with the terms of the policy or contract.

[See St. Edward Mercy Medical Center v. Ellison, 946 S.W.2d 726 (Ark. App., Div. 4 1997); Oil Fields Corp. v. Hess, 53 S.W. 2d 444 (Ark. 1932).]

Neither Arkansas’ Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrue over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although Arkansas’ authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Arkansas courts have placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing, including policies that deny or limit payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract.

California

In California, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.  If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

If an employer chooses to have an established policy, practice, or agreement to provide paid vacation, certain restrictions are placed on it regarding how it fulfils its obligation to provide vacation pay. Employers must pay employees for all accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason for the separation.

An employer can place a reasonable cap on vacation leave preventing an employee from accruing or earning vacation over a certain number of hours.

[https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Benefits.pdf

When an employment relationship ends, all vacation earned but not yet taken by the employee must be paid at the time of termination. [227.3]

It is illegal in California for an employer to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use accrued vacation prior to a set date or lose it.

Colorado

In Colorado, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits.  If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [§ 8-4-101(14)(a)(III)]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Thompson v. Cheyenne Mountain School Dist. No. 12, 844 P.2d 1235 (Colo. App. 1992).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [CO Wage Act § 8-4-101]

The Colorado Supreme Court has declined to determine whether an employer is liable to pay employees for accrued vacation upon separation from employment when the policy or contract is silent on the issue. Thus, it is unclear whether an employer would be liable to pay for accrued or earned vacation to an employee upon separation from employment when the policy or contract does not specifically address the matter.

An employer may lawfully cap the amount of leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Cheyenne Mountain School District #12 v. Thompson, 861 P.2d 711 (Colo. Sup. Ct. 1993)]

An employer would also likely be free to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Thompson v. Cheyenne Mountain School Dist. No. 12, 844 P.2d 1235 (Colo. App. 1992).]

Connecticut

An employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Conn. Stat. 31-76k]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Santengelo v. Elite Beverage, Inc., 783 A.2d 500, 65 Conn. App. 618 (2001)]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [Conn. Stat. 31-76k]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter unless the employer has established a practice of doing so.

An employer may lawfully cap the amount of leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer would also likely be free to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Santengelo v. Elite Beverage, Inc., 783 A.2d 500, 65 Conn. App. 618 (2001)]

Delaware

In Delaware, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.  [19-1109]. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. [Delaware Code 19-1109]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Lloyd v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society, 1985 Del. Super. LEXIS 1194 (1985)]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [Delaware Code 19-1109]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter unless the employer has established a practice of doing so. 

[Santengelo v. Elite Beverage, Inc., 783 A.2d 500, 65 Conn. App. 618 (2001).]

An employer may lawfully cap the amount of leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Hullinger v. Corrin, 1987 Del. C.P. LEXIS 6 (1987);]

An employer would also likely be free to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. [Delaware Code 19-1109]

District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide vacation leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. 

An employer must pay an employee his/her accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, whether by quit, discharge, or layoff unless the employee has knowingly agreed to a policy or contract that denies such payment.

An employer may only cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue if the employee has knowingly agreed to the policy or a contract that implements the cap.

Neither District of Columbia law or the courts have specifically addressed whether an employer may implement a use-it-or-lose-it type vacation leave policy. At a minimum, if an employer decides to implement a use-it-or-lose-it type vacation leave policy, it may only do so if the employee has knowingly agreed to the policy or a contract that implements the use-it-or-lose-it provision.

An employee, in addition to agreeing in writing, may knowingly agree to vacation leave policies limiting the accrual and/or payment of leave if he/she is first made aware of the policy and then performs work after being made aware of the policy.

[NRA v. Ailes, 428 A.2d 816 (D.C. App. 1981); Jones v. District Parking Mgmt Co., 268 A.2d 860 (D.C. App. 1970).]

Florida

Florida has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

Florida’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding any obligation an employer may have regarding vacation leave, including whether an employer must pay an employee accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. Due to the silence of Florida authorities on the matter of vacation leave, it is likely employers are free to establish the vacation leave policy of their choosing. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of a valid employment contract containing vacation leave provisions.

Georgia

In Georgia, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

[Shannon v. Huntley’s Jiffy Store, Inc., 329 S.E.2d 208, 174 Ga. App. 125 (1985)]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated.

[Ryvos v. St. Mary’s Hospital, 393 S.E.2d 739, 195 Ga. App. 474 (1990); Shannon v. Huntley’s Jiffy Store, Inc., 329 S.E.2d 208, 174 Ga. App. 125 (1985)]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Amoco Fabrics & Fibers Co. v. Ray, 510 S.E.2d 591,235 Ga. App. 821 (1998)]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

Georgia’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding whether an employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if the policy or contract is silent regarding the matter. However, because of the contractual emphasis Georgia courts place on vacation policies, it is unlikely an employer would be obligated to pay an employee accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent regarding the matter unless the employer has a practice of doing so.

Although Georgia’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding the matter, it is likely an employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Shannon v. Huntley’s Jiffy Store, Inc., 329 S.E.2d 208, 174 Ga. App. 125 (1985)]

An employer would also likely be free to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Hawaii

In Hawaii, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer must provide employees written notice of the terms of its vacation policy. [Haw. Rev. Stat. 388-7]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Casumpang v. ILWU, Local 142, 108 Haw. 411, 121 P.3d 391 (Haw. 2005); Lim v. Motor Supply, LTD, 45 Haw. 111, 364 P.2d 38 (1961).]

Idaho

In Idaho, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. 

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Ferguson v. City of Orofino, 131 Idaho 190, 953 P.2d 630 (1998); Jackson v. Minidoka Irrigation Dist., 98 Idaho 330, 563 P.2d 54 (1977).]

Neither Idaho’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although Idaho’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Idaho courts have placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing, including policies that deny or limit payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment. [Idaho Labor Laws]

Illinois

In Illinois, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer is required to pay these benefits only if it has established a policy, promised, or contracted to provide them. [820 ILCS 115/2]

An employer must pay an employee for all accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment. An employer cannot maintain a policy or employment contract requiring the forfeiture by an employee of accrued vacation upon separation from employment for any reason. The only exception to this rule is if the employer is party to a collective bargaining agreement with a union that provides otherwise.

An employer can implement a vacation policy where employees must use vacation time by a certain date or lose it (a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy) but must permit employees a reasonable opportunity to use the leave. [56 Ill. Adm. Code 300.520(e)]

Indiana

In Indiana, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

[Indiana Heart Associates, P.C. v. Bahamonde, 714 N.E.2d 309 (Ind. App. 1999); Die &Mold, Inc. v. Western, 448 N.E.2d 44 (Ind. App. 1983).]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Williams v. Riverside, 846 N.E.2d 738 (Ind. App. 2006); Damon Corp. v. Estes, 750 N.E.2d 891 (Ind. App. 2001); Indiana Heart Associates, P.C. v. Bahamonde, 714 N.E.2d 309 (Ind. App. 1999).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

[Indiana Heart Associates, P.C. v. Bahamonde, 714 N.E.2d 309 (Ind. App. 1999); Die &Mold, Inc. v. Western, 448 N.E.2d 44 (Ind. App. 1983).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

[Haxton v. McClure Oil Corp., 697 N.E.2d 1277 (Ind. App. 1998)]

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Indiana Heart Associates, P.C. v. Bahamonde, 714 N.E.2d 309 (Ind. App. 1999); Die &Mold, Inc. v. Western, 448 N.E.2d 44 (Ind. App. 1983).]

Neither Indiana’s Legislature nor its courts have stated whether an employer can lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policy requiring employees to use their vacation leave by a specific date or lose it. However, based on the State’s strong policy favouring freedom of contract, it is likely such a policy would be lawful so long as employees were made aware of the policy prior to it being enforced and so long as employees had reasonable opportunities to use the leave prior to losing it.

[Naugle v. Beech Grove City Schools, 864 N.E.2d 1058 (Ind. Sup. Ct. 2007).]

Iowa

In Iowa, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Iowa Code 91A.2(7)(b)]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [Iowa Code 91A.2(7(b)]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

 [Division of Labor] 

Kansas

In Kansas, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Sweet v. Stormont Vail Regional Medical Center, 231 Kan. 604, 647 P.2d 1274 (Kan. Sup. Ct. 1982); Mid American Aerospace, Inc. v. Dept. of Human Resources, 10 Kan. App. 2d 144, 694 P.2d 1321 (1985).]

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Mid American Aerospace, Inc. v. Dept. of Human Resources, 10 Kan. App. 2d 144, 694 P.2d 1321 (1985).] 

Kentucky

In Kentucky, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. 

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Berrier v. Bizer, 57 S.W.3d 271 (Kent. Sup. Ct. 2001).]

Louisiana

In Louisiana, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer cannot refuse to pay accrued or earned vacation to employees upon separation from employment merely because they were terminated, regardless of the reason.

Accrued or earned vacation must be paid to an employee upon separation from employment if the company policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

Louisiana courts are split regarding whether an employer can refuse to pay an employee accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment if the employee fails to comply with certain conditions, such as giving two weeks’ notice.

Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998) (Supreme Court refused to explicitly state any restriction on payment of wages upon separation from employment was unlawful but cited favourably to those cases that do)

Lee v. Katz and Bestoff, Inc., 479 So.2d 459 (La. App. 1st Cir. 1985) (employer cannot place restrictions on employees to receive payment for accrued vacation). Contra., e.g., 

Huddleston v. Dillard Department Store, 638 So.2d 383 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1994) and Landry v. Pauli’s, Inc., 496 So.2d 431 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1986) (employers can place restrictions on employees when paying out accrued vacation upon separation from employment).

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Wyatt v. Avoyelles Parish School Board, 831 So.2d 906 (La. Sup. Ct. 2002); Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998).]

 

Maine

In Maine, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

[Rowell v. Jones & Vining, Inc., 524 A.2d 1208 (1987).]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Bureau of Labor Standards]

Maryland

In Maryland, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the employer has informed its employees in writing leave will not be paid. [MD Stat., Labor and Employment Article, 3-505(b)]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as employees have been informed of the policy in writing. [MD Stat., Labor and Employment Article, 3-505(b)]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees have been informed of the policy in writing. [MD Stat., Labor and Employment Article, 3-505(b)]

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as employees have been informed of the policy in writing. [MD Stat., Labor and Employment Article, 3-505(b)]

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

If an employer chooses to provide vacation benefits, it must pay employees for the accrued or earned leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. An employer cannot enforce a vacation leave policy where an employee forfeits all or part of their accrued or vested vacation upon separation from employment.

An employer may place a reasonable cap on the amount of vacation leave employees may accrue.

An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as employees have a reasonable opportunity to use their leave.

[Advisory 99/1]

Michigan

In Michigan, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Mich. Comp. Laws 408.473]

[Slomka v. Hamtramck Housing Commission, 2006 Mich. App. Lexis 2013 (2006).]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [Mich. Comp. Laws 408.473.]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employee has agreed to the policy in writing. See Mich. Comp. Laws 408.473.

Minnesota

An employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it

Neither Minnesota’s Legislature nor its courts have stated whether an employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy.

An employer would likely be able to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employee has agreed to the policy in writing.

[See Lee v. Fresenius Medical Care, Inc., 741 N.W.2d 117 (Minn. S.Ct. 2007).]

Mississippi

Mississippi has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

Mississippi’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding any obligation an employer may have regarding vacation leave, including whether an employer must pay an employee accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. Due to the silence of Mississippi authorities on the matter of vacation leave, it is likely employers are free to establish the vacation leave policy of their choosing. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of a valid employment contract containing vacation leave provisions.

Missouri

In Missouri, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

[City of Webster Groves v. Institutional and Public Employees Union, 524 S.W.2d 162 (Mo. App. 1975).]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

[Brackett v. Easton Boot and Shoe Co., 388 S.W.2d 842 (Mo. Sup. Ct. 1965).]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[See Williams v. Jones, 562 S.W.2d 391 (Mo. App. 1978); City of Webster Groves v. Institutional and Public Employees Union, 524 S.W.2d 162 (Mo. App. 1975).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

[Brackett v. Easton Boot and Shoe Co., 388 S.W.2d 842 (Mo. Sup. Ct. 1965).]

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[City of Webster Groves v. Institutional and Public Employees Union, 524 S.W.2d 162 (Mo. App. 1975).]

Montana

In Montana, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its employment contract or established policy.

Once an employee earns vacation leave, it cannot be forfeited for any reason. This means an employee must be paid for all accrued vacation pay upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason.

An employer cannot require an employee to comply with specific requirements in order to receive accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving timely notice or not being terminated.

An employer may place a reasonable cap on the vacation leave an employee can accrue.

An employer cannot implement a “˜use it or lose it’ vacation policy requiring employees to use their vacation leave by a set date or lose it.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

[Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management, Inc., 272 Neb. 434, 722 N.W.2d 499 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 2006).]

An Employer can require employees to meet certain requirements before they can earn vacation leave. However, once employees earn vacation leave according to an employer’s policy or contract, an employer cannot deny payment for such vacation leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. [Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1229(4)

An employer may lawfully cap the number of vacation leave hours an employee can accrue.

An employer cannot implement a “use it or lose it” vacation policy requiring employees to use their earned vacation leave by a set date or lose it.

Nevada

Nevada laws do not require employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

 [Labor Commissioner]

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

Neither New Hampshire’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrue over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although New Hampshire’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis New Hampshire has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. An employer must inform its employees in writing of its policies regarding vacation benefits, holiday pay, sick leave, severance, other types of leave, or other fringe benefits. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide these benefits, it is only required to comply with its established policy or employment contract. 

Neither New Jersey’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may be accrued over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although New Jersey’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis New Jersey has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, an employer is not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

Neither New Mexico’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrue over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although New Mexico’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis New Mexico has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract.

 

New York

In New York, an employer is not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.  If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [NY Labor Law 198-c.]

Neither New York’s Legislature nor its court has explicitly stated whether an employer may implement a policy or enter into employment contracts requiring employees to forfeit accrued vacation upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. However, an employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. Employees must be provided adequate notice of any such policy for it to come into effect. [NY Labor Law § 195(5)]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [NY Labor Law § 198-c]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees are given prior notice of the policy. [NY Labor Law § 195(5)]

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as employees are given prior notice of the policy. [NY Labor Law § 195(5)]

North Carolina

In North Carolina, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.2(16).]

If an employer establishes a vacation policy, the policy must address [NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306.]:

  • How and when vacation is earned so that the employees know the amount of vacation to which they are entitled;
  • Whether or not vacation time may be carried forward from one year to another, and if so, in what amount;

When vacation time must be taken;

  • When and if vacation pay may be paid in lieu of time off; and
  • Under what conditions vacation pay will be forfeited upon discontinuation of employment for any reason.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees in writing of the vacation policy. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.12] [NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306.]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees in writing of the vacation policy. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.12, [NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.12] [NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employers established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.12][NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306.]

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees in writing of the vacation policy. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.12;NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306;] 

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees in writing of the vacation policy. [NC Gen. Stat. 95-25.12NC Admin. Code 13 NCAC 12.0306]

North Dakota

In North Dakota, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

In North Dakota, an employer cannot require an employee to forfeit accrued or earned vacation leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. [ND Admin. Code 46-02-07-02(12).]

An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can be accrued over time. [ND Admin. Code 46-02-07-02(12).]

An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy and the employee has a reasonable opportunity to use the vacation leave. [ND Admin. Code 46-02-07-02(12).]

All paid leave is considered vacation leave, unless the employer explicitly divides vacation leave from sick or other types of leave, such as paid time off (PTO). [ND Admin. Code 46-02-07-02(12).]

Ohio

In Ohio, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the forfeiture policy is clear and explicit, and the employees have notice of the policy.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as the forfeiture policy is clear and explicit and the employees have notice of the policy.

[Ervin v. Oak Ridge Treatment Center Acquisition Corp., 2006 Ohio 3851 (OH App. 2006).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can be accrued over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy.

[Fridrich v. Seuffert Construction Co., 2006 Ohio 1076 (OH App. 2006).]

An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy.

[Van Barg v. Dixon Ticonderoga Co., 2003 Ohio 2531 (OH App. 2003).

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Okla. Stat. 40-5-165.1(4)]; [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-8.]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.]

An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can accrue over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.]

An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. [Okla. Admin. Rules 380:30-1-5.]

Oregon

In Oregon, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they are terminated or fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent or ambiguous about the matter.

An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can be accrued over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy.

An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy and gives them a reasonable opportunity to use their vacation leave before it is lost.

[Oregon Holiday and Vacation Pay]

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Pennsylvania Stat. 43:260.2a.]

An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment. [Pennsylvania Stat. 43:260.2a]

Neither Pennsylvania’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrue over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although Pennsylvania’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Pennsylvania has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing.  An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract. 

[Department of Labor and Industry]

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

According to Rhode Island law, an employer must pay an employee who has completed at least one year of service, upon separation from employment, for any vacation pay accrued in accordance with company policy or contract on the next regular payday for the employee. [RI Stat. 28-14-4(b).]

After one year of service, employers must pay separated employees accrued vacation time awarded by either: [RI Stat. 28-14-4(b).]

  • A collective bargaining agreement.
  • Written or verbal company policy.
  • Any other written or verbal agreement between the employer and employee.

This also means an employer cannot require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as provide a certain number of days’ notice of intent to leave or not be terminated for misconduct, so long as the employee has at least one year of service with the employer.

 

Neither Rhode Island’s Legislature or courts have clarified whether an employer can cap accrued leave (although this is probably lawful) or implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [South Carolina Department of Labor]

An employer is required to notify its employees in writing of any benefit policies. [SC Code 41-10-30]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[O’Neal v. Intermedical Hospital of SC, 355 S.C. 499, 585 S.E.2d 526 (SC App. 2003)]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [SC Code 41-10-10(b)]

Neither South Carolina’s Legislature nor its courts have stated whether an employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. [SC Code 41-10-10(b)]

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. [SC Code 41-10-10(b)

South Dakota

South Dakota has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.

South Dakota’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding any obligation an employer may have regarding vacation leave, including whether an employer must pay an employee accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. Due to the silence of South Dakota authorities on the matter of vacation leave, it is likely employers are free to establish the vacation leave policy of their choosing. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of a valid employment contract containing vacation leave provisions.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. [TN Code 50-2-103(3)]. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [TN Code 50-2-103(3)TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. [TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. [TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.]

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. [TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.]

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. [TN Atty Gen. Opinion No. 06-169.]

Texas

In Texas, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [TX Labor Code 61.001(7)(B); TX Admin. Code 821.25(a).]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. [TX Admin. Code 821.25(a)]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. [Texas Labor Code]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

[Instate Hosts, Inc. v. Thompson, 435 S.W.2d 957 (TX App.-Dallas 1968); Chester v. Jones, 386 S.W.2d 544 (TX App.-Tyler 1965).]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter unless the employer has an established practice of doing so. [TX Admin. Code 821.25(a)]

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Utah

In Utah, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [UT Admin. Code R610-3-4(B)(1)]

An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment. [UT Admin. Code R610-3-4(B)(1)]

Neither Utah’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may be accrued over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.(Unless the employer specifically implements a use-it-or-lose-it policy explicitly stating that leave does not accrue and employees are not paid for unused leave, the employer must pay the employee for any accrued, unused leave on the employee's termination. UT Admin. Code R610-3-4(B)(1)

Although Utah’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Utah has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing, including policies providing for the forfeiture of accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

Vermont

In Vermont, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment.

[Vermont Wage and Hour Laws]

Neither Vermont’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrue over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although Vermont’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Vermont has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing.

Virginia

In Virginia, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. . If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment.

Neither Virginia’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:

  • establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
  • deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
  • require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks’ notice being employed as of a specific date of the year,
  • cap the vacation leave an employee may accrue over time,
  • implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

Although Virginia’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Virginia has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. 

[Virginia Labor Laws]

Washington

As of right now Washington, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. However, starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to workers.  [WA Dept. of Labor: Vacation Leave.]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.

[Lapo v. Avalon Music, Inc., 2001 Wash. App. Lexis 1156 (2001); Walters v. Center Electric, Inc., 8 Wn. App. 322 (1973).]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Walters v. Center Electric, Inc., 8 Wn. App. 322 (1973).]

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

[Lapo v. Avalon Music, Inc., 2001 Wash. App. Lexis 1156 (2001); Walters v. Center Electric, Inc., 8 Wn. App. 322 (1973).]

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.

[Walters v. Center Electric, Inc., 8 Wn. App. 322 (1973).]

West Virginia

In West Virginia, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [WV Code 21-5-1(c) & (l), 3(a)]

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the forfeiture policy is clearly and explicitly stated in the employer’s established policy or employment contract.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, if the forfeiture policy is clearly and explicitly stated in the employer’s established policy or employment contract.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. [WV Code 21-5-1(c) & (l), 3(a).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employee has agreed to the policy in writing.

[See Meadows v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 207 W. Va. 203, 530 S.E.2d 676 (WV Sup. Ct. 1999).]

Wisconsin

Employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [Wisc. Stat. 109.01(3)]

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks’ notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year.

[Tasker v. Chieftain Wildrice Company, 263 Wis.2d 432, 662 N.W.2d 679 (Ct. App. 2003).]

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employee has agreed to the policy in writing.

[Sinclair v. Hillhaven Corp., 161 Wis.2d 935, 469 N.W.2d 249 (Ct. App. 1991).]

Neither Wisconsin’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding whether an employer may establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment regardless of the reason. However, based on the contractual emphasis Wisconsin authorities place on vacation policies, such forfeiture provision are likely lawful, so long as an employee was given sufficient opportunity to use their vacation leave while employed.

Wisconsin authorities are also silent regarding whether an employer may deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter. Due to such benefits qualifying as wages under Wisconsin’s wage payment laws, an employer would likely be required to pay vacation leave to an employee upon separation from employment if the policy did not contain some sort of forfeiture provision. [Wisc. Stat. 109.01(3).]

Wyoming

In Wyoming, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. [WY Stat. 27-4-507]

In Wyoming, an employer may have a policy that it does not pay employees for accrued but unused vacation leave upon separation from employment but only if the employee has acknowledged the employer’s forfeiture policy in writing. [WY Stat. 27-4-501(a)(iii)]

If an employee has not acknowledged the employer’s policy in writing or the employer’s policy is silent on the issue, the employer must pay the employee for accrued but unused vacation leave upon separation from employment. 

An employer may require employees to be employed on a specific date before they receive their allotment of vacation leave, such as having to be employed at the start of a calendar year or on their anniversary date.

Wyoming employers may implement “use-it-or-lose-it” policies requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it; however, for a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy to be lawful, employers must give employees a reasonable opportunity to use any accrued vacation time before it is lost.

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