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  • Vacation/Attendance Policy

    Our vacation attendance policy is based on a point system where employees accumulate points for infractions such as tardiness and absenteeism. When they reach a certain point level (7-11), they lose a vacation day for each of those points, up to 5 days for the year. I know that it is not a law that companies in Indiana give employees vacation days, but is there any legal issues connected to taking their earned vacation days away from them?

  • #2
    There may be. Indiana courts have not been consistent in their rulings regards vacation payouts and/or whether they belong unconditionally to the employee. There is no guarantee, should the employee sue to get the time back, that the employer would prevail.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cbg View Post
      There may be. Indiana courts have not been consistent in their rulings regards vacation payouts and/or whether they belong unconditionally to the employee. There is no guarantee, should the employee sue to get the time back, that the employer would prevail.
      Would the same be true if paid holidays were used in place of vacation days?

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      • #4
        Holidays are different but you would still not be able to dock exempt employees for the day. Better would be to stop an employee accruing more leave, rather than taking it away. That is always allowed by law. Besides, what do you do with the employee who has already exhausted their leave?
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          I was the plant manager here for 13 years and left briefly for three years from 2009 until July of 2012. My boss (now retired) and I had drafted the original attendance policy and point system. There was no part of it that took vacation from the employee. The accumulation of points only resulted in progressive discipline, up to and including, self-termination of employment when reaching 12 points. Upon my return to the company I looked at the revised policy and am questioning the legality, which is the reason for this post. I also posed the same question as you have, to the President of our company. I asked as to the fairness of the policy in the event that if two employees get to the 7 point range and one has vacation available and the other has exhausted their's, how do you take from the one, but not the other? His response was that he had not thought of that scenario. My main interest is to make sure the policy is consistent and fair, and does not leave the company open to any unwanted legal exposure.

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          • #6
            It is always, always, always risky to take away vacation that has already been accrued. Doing so would be illegal in my state and in many others. While IN does not have hard and fast rules on the subject, as I mentioned courts are split on the issue of vacation time and the state is definitely leaning more in the direction of protecting vacation time than not. When the state legislature finally gets around to finalizing something, it is far more likely to be that vacation time, once earned, is vested than it is the other way round.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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            • #7
              Thank you for your input and advice. You have been very helpful!

              ~Bryan

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