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Employees selectively losing vacation time due to natural disaster Pennsylvania

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  • Employees selectively losing vacation time due to natural disaster Pennsylvania

    Hello and thanks for any help in advance.
    I work for a small private company which fell victim to the recent flooding in Northeastern PA. Upon completion of remodeling the company is once again open, however, the owner is rescinding accrued vacation time on a selective basis. Some employees are being told they're not able to take their accrued vacation time because the three months they were on unemployment was their vacation. Others, however, are allowed to take their vacation time freely. The owner is claiming that we should all relinquish our earned vacation time because "the unemployment benefits we were paid came out of his pocket". Excuse me but it's kind of hard to take a vacation when you are only receiving half of your pay. It's tough to even keep up with the monthly bills. Question is can the owner legally rescind anyone's accrued vacation time?

  • #2

    It certainly won't be an easy pill to swallow.

    I can only imagine that the employer has some serious profitability and cash flow issues right now and is trying to do some damage control by eliminating unpaid liabilities before those owed (employees with accrued vacation time) ask to be paid.

    An alternative would be for the employer to put a moratorium on paid leaves until the company is back on its feet. The employees don't lose what they had accrued, but can't take it for some period of time.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.


    • #3
      Vacation must be administered equally and fairly

      I assume from your username that you are a student of history just prior to the years BC.

      Employers are required to administer company policy equally. Are you positive that your information is accurate?

      It is acceptable to apply policy A to one class of employees and policy B to another. For example, in some companies management employees may be offered pension plan A while non-management employees are offered pension plan B.

      If you have a good working relationship with your employer, you may want to discuss this vacation policy with your employer to ensure that you have the correct facts. If this is truely happening, then your employer may not understand the need to administer company policy equally and may have to recind the vacation offer to all.

      I agree with ScottB. It sounds like your employer is trying to make the best of a difficult situation. If the flooding you mentioned is area wide, then you may be fortunate to have a place of employment at all. This does not surpass the need to administer company policy fairly but you may have to give credit to your employer for not "taking the insurance money and running".

      Your employer may appreciate you making him or her aware of your questions concerning the administration of paid vacaction. If you don't have all of the facts, then your statements are based on rumor. Your employer may be eager to explain (without violating confidentiality) what you think you know.
      I am not now and have never been a lawyer. I am an employer, a manager and an engineer and as such I am freely offering information which you may find useful. The information is strictly my opinion, is subject to change and is not intended as legal advice. Feel free to use this information at your own risk.