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Vacation Benefits Illinois

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  • jumbalaya
    started a topic Vacation Benefits Illinois

    Vacation Benefits Illinois

    I am a employer with a company of 40 employees. We have been in operation for 7 years now and since the beginning i have offered 1 week vacation after the frist year, 2 weeks vacation after the 3rd year and 3 weeks vacation after the 5th year. Unforgently times have change, we are in a recession now and my buiness has decline to the point that i need to make some changes to protect my invesment.
    Ouestion 1. At this date can i change my policy towards vacation
    One week for all hourly employees, 2 weeks for managent.
    Question 2. The accrue vacation the employees earn last year to be used this year, can I reduced the accrue vacation to 1 week for hourly and 2 week for managers as decribe above. Or by Law am i requierd to give what they have earn, still change the company policy right now and starting the new policy next year, if we make it, start the new vacation time

    This i know is a lousy thing to do to loyal employees, I used to be one.. But as a owner if i do control the loss and address the highter cost of doing buiness then we can all be out of a job in the near future

  • DAW
    replied
    The key might be the existence of a policy which is (or can be argued to be) a contract. If we hire an employee, and at the time the employee is hired we have in place a use-it-or-loss-it policy, then we have not violated contract law by the "lose it" provision executing as per contract. On the other hand, if we have no use-it-or-loss-it policy and we try to retroactively implement one, or retroactively eliminate vacation/PTO earned (the OP's actual question), then we arguably are violating contract law as Joe suggested. Now as alway with any contract law related answer, we need to read the actual contract and check with the related state law to be sure of our answer. Not all policies rise to the level of a contract, but that is a determination which a court can address, so a blanket answer that policies are not contracts is not necessarily correct.

    I think part of the confusion is that we can have both labor law and contract law effecting the same situation. Contract law cannot make labor law go away, but absent contrary labor law, contract law can still be valid. For example, vacation is vested in CA and nothing contract law can do to change that. We on this web site tend to answer questions in terms of labor law but contract law while not always applicable cannot be ignored.
    Last edited by DAW; 03-28-2008, 06:30 AM.

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  • cbg
    replied
    I'm not sure I agree that vacation, once earned, can never be taken away across the board. Use it or lose it policies are legal in a lot of states. Had our OP been in one of those states (which I agree she is not) she could have told her employees that any time not taken by such and such a date would be lost, and it would be legal.

    But I take your point, and thank you for the reference.

    Leave a comment:


  • Betty3
    replied
    Joe, try here. Betty3

    http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/rules/56_300.htm

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  • Betty3
    replied
    Hold on - my source made reference to it - I'll find it.

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  • Betty3
    replied
    (820 ILCS 115/5)
    Sec. 5. Every employer shall pay the final compensation of separated employees in full, at the time of separation, if possible, but in no case later than the next regularly scheduled payday for such employee. Where such employee requests in writing that his final compensation be paid by check and mailed to him, the employer shall comply with this request.
    Unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement, whenever a contract of employment or employment policy provides for paid vacations, and an employee resigns or is terminated without having taken all vacation time earned in accordance with such contract of employment or employment policy, the monetary equivalent of all earned vacation shall be paid to him or her as part of his or her final compensation at his or her final rate of pay and no employment contract or employment policy shall provide for forfeiture of earned vacation time upon separation.

    Title 56:
    Section 300.520 Earned Vacations



    Whenever an employment contract or an employment policy provides for paid vacation earned by length of service, vacation time is earned pro rata as the employee renders service to the employer.



    Oral promises, handbooks, memoranda, and uniform patterns of practice may create a duty to pay the monetary equivalent of earned vacation.



    Claims for vacation pay must be brought to the Department within three years from the date the vacation is earned.



    Nothing in this provision shall be construed to reduce or impair the right of the claimant to maintain a civil action to recover additional vacation pay found due by such courts.



    An employment contract or an employer's policy may require an employee to take vacation by a certain date or lose the vacation, provided that the employee is given a reasonable opportunity to take the vacation. The employer must demonstrate that the employee had notice of the contract or policy provision.

    Any employer that provides paid vacation to its employees must maintain true and accurate records of the number of vacation days earned for each year and the dates on which such vacation days were taken and paid.

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  • jumbalaya
    replied
    The Tango

    I want to thake you all for your time and infomation. Just so you all know I have decided to give every one the vacation time they each accrued last year. Be it 1 week, 2 week or 3 week. Somehow we will muddel through it, we allways do. I am changeing the vacation policy now for next year to 1 week for hourly and 2 week for managent. Yes there will be hurt feeling on saturday when i have my State of the Union address with my employees but as Betty 3 puts it "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about leraning to dance in the rain. By the way Betty3... I am doing the Tango, care to join me. LOL

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  • cbg
    replied
    Joe, I in fact agree with you; that's always been my read on Illinois as well. But do you have anything conclusive to support it?

    I'm asking only so that I can have the reference for future, not because I in any way disagree with your take.

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  • ScottB
    replied
    While you can do most anything you want, I would suggest letting employees keep what they have already accrued, but cut back on how vacation is earned from now until business picks up.

    You can make this policy effective anytime, but I also suggest that it apply only to the time worked after the policy is announced.

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  • Betty3
    replied
    1. Since vacation time off is not required at all, yes, you can change your vacation policy.

    2. Employers in Il. may cap vacation or require employees to use accrued vacation by a certain date provided a reasonable opportunity to use it is given.

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