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accrued vacation pay at severance

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  • accrued vacation pay at severance

    My wife recently left a job of 13 years, of which the only benefit ever given was vacation pay. When she quit she had accrued significant vacation time and the employer has refused to pay her for it. The written employee manual states that accrued time WILL be paid at time of severance, but he has sent her a note stating that the policy was changed..... no signature of receipt from any employees..
    Precedence says she HAS been paid for vacation time in the past, and I feel she is due payment for time accrued. Any suggestions federal or state?? I own my own business and I know what I would do....

  • #2
    I know what I would do, too, but unfortunately Idaho does not require the payout of accrued vacation time. Neither does Federal law.

    Furthermore, no law in any state requires an employer to get an written acknowledgement of a change in policy. It is a good idea for many reasons but it is not required by law.

    In order to force the employer to pay out the unused time, she would need to show that the employer manual is a contract AND that it was still in effect at the time of her separation. She will need an attorney if she chooses to go that route.

    If she feels strongly about it, she can take a copy of the manual to an attorney in your state and see what s/he has to say. But there is no law that is going to force them to pay it out short of a contractual obligation.
    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.