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  • Vacation time

    I am going to be leaving my job this week. My question is about my vacation time. I have been employed there for about seven years and on Jan. 1 of evbery year we get our vacation time. My employer told me that since I am leaving I forefit my vacation time per the employee handbook. I've red the State labor law and it says that upon leaving a job the accrued vacation time is considered wages. Which one is right?
    I am employed in RI and I live there as well.

  • #2
    Are you talking about the time you have accrued up to the date you leave, or the time you would have accrued if you'd worked the rest of the year?
    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
      I am talking about time that I have accrued. Or at least I believe that it is time that I have accrued.
      Our system works like this. If you start after June 30th, then the following Jan. 1st you will get five vacation days. If you start before June 30th then you will get 10 vacation days.
      Once you have been there a year, you will get 10 vacation days the following Jan 1st.
      Once you have been there three years you will get 15 vacation days the following Jan. 1st.
      Thank you for your reply.

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      • #4
        But the answer to your question hinges on how that time is accrued. Very few employers give it to you in a block, for precisely this reason. Most employers have that time accrue over time.

        Let me give you a simple example:

        Suppose in January you "get" ten days. If the employer gives it to you in a block, you now own all ten days and if you leave you have to be paid all of it. An employer would have to be a fool to give you ten paid days like that because if you left in January, he'd have to pay you that entire ten days.

        What most employers do is have that time accrue gradually. For example, you accrue .83 days a month. If you leave in January, he only has to pay you.83 days. If you leave in February, you get 1.66 days. And so on. By the time you reach December you've reached 10 days. Many employers doing it this way, will allow you to "borrow" time that you haven't earned so that if you want to take five days off in April, when you've only accrued 3.32 days, you can. Now you have no days accrued and you "owe" the employer 1.68 days.

        Without knowing what method your employer uses, I can't tell you what, if any, part of the time you became eligible for in January is owed to you by law.
        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
          Thank you for your response.

          The employee handbook states "Earned vacation time is available for use in the year following its accrual"

          Doesn't this mean that the vacation time that I get in Jan. is what I earned during the previous year?

          Now there is something else, the handbook also states:
          "Upon involuntary termination of employment,Teams Members will be paid for unused vacation time the has been earned through the last day of work. Upon vountary termination, Team Member will not be paid for unused vacation time"

          I have perused the RI Labor Law and it states that vacation time accrued is payable as wages and owed to the employee. It seems to me that the Labor Law would supercede the handbook here. Is my train of thought on track here?

          Onca again, thank you for your time and responses.

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          • #6
            At this point I think your best bet is to ask your question of the state DOL.
            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
              I will. Thank you.

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