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Can I get my vacation pay? North Carolina

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  • Can I get my vacation pay? North Carolina

    I am planning on quitting my job. As of Jan 1 I am due 1 week vacation, so I would like to either get the time off or get paid for it before I leave. I already lost my vacation last year because of a personel shortage that prevented me from taking any time off before year end. My original plan was to take a week off and come back and give a 2 week notice. I mentioned to the boss this morning that I would like to take some time off soon. He made it clear that an entire week was out of the question.
    Bottom line question is this, if I give a notice before taking vacation does he have to pay me for the vacation time?
    I know this guy well enough to know that he will try to weasel out of paying if he doen't have to.

    I've already worked a month longer than I intended because I'm trying to be the nice guy and not leave them without someone who can do my job.

  • #2
    Your employer does not have to permit you to take vacation once you give notice.

    Straight from the DOL website

    Does an employer have to give its employees vacation time off with pay?
    No. Vacation is a wage benefit that may or may not be provided at the discretion of the employer. However, if the employer does promise vacation pay or vacation time off with pay, then the employer must have a written vacation policy which clearly explains how the vacation is earned and how it can be taken. Also, any earned vacation must be paid at termination unless the employer has a written forfeiture clause which clearly explains how the earned vacation can be taken away.
    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.


    • #3
      BTW, I have not given a 2 week notice yet.

      I saw that on the DOL website, but it seemed a bit vague to me.
      I also saw this on the DOL website:

      Earned vacation pay, commissions, and bonuses cannot be forfeited unless the employer has a written forfeiture clause in its vacation, commission, or bonus policy or termination policy pursuant to N.C.G.S. 95-25.13(2) of the WHA. Keep in mind that vacation pay, commissions, or bonuses have to be earned, regardless if a verbal promise or a written policy, before an employer has to pay them at all. Also, even if there is a written policy that has a written forfeiture clause, an employee may still be due the earned vacation pay, commissions, or bonuses at termination. It all depends on the language of the forfeiture clause and the reason/s the employee's employment was discontinued, and if the reason/s meet the criteria in the written forfeiture clause. Please note that the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) takes the position that sick leave does not have to be paid at termination even if there is no written forfeiture clause unless the policy actually states that sick leave will be paid at termination or there is the practice of such payments.
      1. There is no written company policy.
      2. The week's vacation was earned from working last year. So it seems that he should be required to pay.
      3. He doesn't seem willing to allow me to take the time off, thereby preventing me from taking vacation time before giving my notice.


      • #4
        He may absolutely deny you the time off. If you have the time on the books when you terminate, absent a policy that states otherwise, you would be eligible to receive the pay for the unused vacation days. This does not mean that your employer must allow you to take the time off whenever you want.
        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.


        • #5
          I did want to clarify one point of contention. It is permissible for NC employers to have a vacation forfeiture policy. The caveat is that this policy must be in writing or posted at the worksite for all to see.

          Before you make your decision, I'd suggest confirming your company's vacation policy with your boss or HR.

          As an aside, many employers have language in the written policy which prohibits usage of vacation time during the notice period. So the option of giving notice and request vacation may not exist. This is a second reason to confirm your company's policy.


          • #6
            Barring a bona fide contract or CBA that specifically says otherwise, in EVERY state an employer may permit or deny the use of vacation at his discretion. This is true regardless of whether it is spelled out as such in the company handbook or not.
            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.