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MGL's for notifying employee of VACATION Time?

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  • MGL's for notifying employee of VACATION Time?

    I am given 15 Vacation Days a year. I can carry over 15 to the next year if they are not used. Is there any law that states they must notify me that excess days will be taken if not used?
    Also I have inquired verbally and in writing as of what my balance of vacation days is for this fiscal year, so i can use them and not lose any. They have not replied and tell me to "keep track myself". Is there any law that states they have to tell me how many days I have left when I ask?

  • #2
    I'll answer the second question first. No, there most certainly is not any law requiring that they tell you how many days you have whenever you ask. How hard is it for you to subtract the number of days you've taken from the number of days you have? Why is it so unreasonable of them to expect you to take responsibility for keeping track of your own vacation days? Boy, some people really need to have their hand held. Massachusetts is over-regulated, but they haven't yet gotten around to writing any laws relieving employees of all responsibility for their own time.

    I'm not clear on what you're asking in the first question. What do you mean, taken if not used? You just got finished saying that the time was carried over if not used.
    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
      Anything over 15 days is "lost" ; so if you've been and have 30 days accrued then you have to use 15 before then end of the fiscal year or they will be lost. I have no problem keeping track of my time, but I have noticed errors on my pay stub in the year to date column. They have me taking more days then I have on my personal records, that is why I have requested the activity log

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      • #4
        I was afraid that's what you were talking about. You have just hit on one of the great mysteries of MA employment law. And unfortunately I can't give you a clear answer. At least, not yet.

        If you call the MA AG's office (and I have done so on numerous occasions when trying to write a vacation policy acceptable to both MA law and upper management in a state where vacation time is not considered wages or is payable at termination) they will tell you that under no circumstances can an employee lose any vacation once it is earned. My exact words to them were, "Under what circumstances can an employee lose vacation time once it is earned?" Their exact response was, "None".

        However, if you read the AG's advisory on the subject you will see that it claims a use-it-or-lose-it policy is acceptable if the employee is given a specific time frame in which to use it. For example, under this advisory if the policy was that you could carry over 15 days but you had to use them before March 31 of the following year or they would be lost, that would be acceptable. (And yes, in answer to your question, if they are operating on this policy they are required to notify you - a link to the advisory is attached.) This has always seemed to me a contradiction.

        As I'm sure you're aware, come November we will have a new AG here in MA. The most likely candidate to fill that office after the election is a client of my husband's. He has promised me an audience with her if she wins the election, and I fully intend to get a clarification on this subject at that time.

        http://www.ago.state.ma.us/filelibrary/VACADV.PDF
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          CBG, I'm not sure I totally agree with you on this one.

          c.149, s.148 states that "The word 'wages' shall include any holiday or vacation payments due an employee under an oral or written agreement."

          The cases further require that employers treat vacation pay like any other payment due.

          c.151, s.15 requires employer to "allow an employee at reasonable times and places to inspect the records kept under this section and pertaining to that employee. "

          Although accrued vacation may not be exactly the same as "hours" under c.151, I think a court would find vacation sufficiently analogous to require the corporation keep accurate records of days taken and to make those records available for inspection by the employee.

          ...just my 2 cents.

          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Would love to hear the results of your conversation with Coakley.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh, I agree that the employer needs to keep track of the hours. How else would they know what to pay out at termination?

              What I'm questioning is whether or not the employer has sole responsibility to keep track and has to, in effect, drop everything to figure out the hours for an employee who hasn't bothered to keep track himself and wants to know how much time he's got, which is what the initial post sounded like.
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                After my conversation with her, I'll fill you in.
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The responsibility for tracking ultimately rests with the employer. If employees are recalcitrant in using time cards, tracking hours and reporting vacation, that is problematic - along the lines of poor performance. But hours worked is the employer's sole responsiblity.

                  It's tough, but employer's hire, set hours, pay rates, job functions, schedules, work locations and benefits - so employers also have to track it all.
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Let me reiterate: I am not questioning managment's responsibilty to track the time.

                    What I am questioning is whether or not, at any given moment, the person in HR or upper managment who is responsible for such tracking, is required to drop whatever they are doing, bring their calculations up to date and inform the employee of how much time they have available on demand. That is the question the poster sounded as if they were asking. I am not questioning that management has to keep track of the time; I am debating whether they are required to provide that information whenever the employee decides they want to hear it, or whether or not they have at least enough control over the timing to day, "I don't have time to check it for you now - I'll get it to you in a day or so".
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I misunderstood where you were going with that. I agree with you completely.

                      The record keeping requirement only requires "reasonable" with respect to availability.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cbg
                        As I'm sure you're aware, come November we will have a new AG here in MA. The most likely candidate to fill that office after the election is a client of my husband's. He has promised me an audience with her if she wins the election, and I fully intend to get a clarification on this subject at that time.
                        Hooray!

                        Can we send you a list of other questions to ask?

                        Di

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Okay with me. Just keep in mind, the election isn't for another seven months.
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cbg
                            Okay with me. Just keep in mind, the election isn't for another seven months.
                            Wow, I was kidding.

                            Di

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Still okay with me.
                              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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