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  • Vacation Time Massachusetts

    If you are given 10 Days of Vacation time for the year and then they allow you to use 12 days over the course of the year...can they make you pay back the 2 days that you went over, if you give your 2 weeks notice to quit at the end of the year?

  • #2
    Originally posted by CampusPolice
    If you are given 10 Days of Vacation time for the year and then they allow you to use 12 days over the course of the year...can they make you pay back the 2 days that you went over, if you give your 2 weeks notice to quit at the end of the year?
    I don't think so, this is why they should not do so. I think I read it in another post. They may be able to sue you for the time taken and not replaced by earned vacation time, but they can not take it out of your check.

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    • #3
      In Massachusetts, and in most other states, yes they can. This is, in effect, a salary advance. The only state I know of that specifically prohibits it by law is California.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        In fact, I have it direct from the MA Attorney General's office that they can. The only caveat is that after the deduction, you cannot receive less than minimum wage times hours worked.
        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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        • #5
          One other thing to keep in mind here, if these are exempt employees, the deduction can act to blow the exemption. This might actually result in the employer owing the employee far more than the deducted day, if in fact the the exemption is blown and the employee worked overtime.

          It's an odd result, but I've used it successfuly for employee clients quite a few occasions.
          This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

          This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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          • #6
            Interesting, because I specified to the AG's office that I was talking about an exempt employee, and they said an overpayment was an overpayment.
            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
              Originally posted by CompensationCounsel
              One other thing to keep in mind here, if these are exempt employees, the deduction can act to blow the exemption. This might actually result in the employer owing the employee far more than the deducted day, if in fact the the exemption is blown and the employee worked overtime.

              It's an odd result, but I've used it successfuly for employee clients quite a few occasions.
              Even so, Phil, wouldn't that only apply to the final week of employment?
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Possibly, but for most companies the improper deduction is usually only one in a series of facts that tend to prove non-exempt status.
                This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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                • #9
                  wow guys!

                  Let me start by saying sorry o.p, I was wrong. Let me finish by saying, I learned alot from the responses thank you!

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                  • #10
                    Meaning no disrespect to Phil, who certainly knows what cases he has won and on what basis, I still would not take it for granted that making such a deduction is going to destroy the exemption.

                    The employee in the case I referred to was unquestionably exempt. There is not even a remote chance that she was misclassified. In fact, she qualified under both the professional and the administrative exemptions.

                    The way the AG's office put it to me, in Massachusetts vacation time is considered wages. If the employee (and, as I said, I specifically told them that the employee was exempt; it was part of the question) was paid at the time for vacation she had not yet earned, we had in effect paid her in advance for time she had not yet "worked". If she never "worked" the time, we were within our rights to take back the overpayment. She was not entitled to keep the extra vacation payment any more than she would be entitled to keep the extra money if our payroll department had accidently added an extra zero to her paycheck.

                    At no time did they suggest that her exempt status would be threatened or that their answer would be different for exempt or non-exempt employees.
                    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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                    • #11
                      cbg, No disrespect taken. I agree with you fully.

                      Phil
                      This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                      This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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