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Vacation garnished Texas

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  • Vacation garnished Texas

    When you're hired at my job, you're told that after 1 year you accumulate 1 week of paid vacation time. There's nothing specific regarding holidays but most major holidays are off, and the verbally agreed-to week per year is taken by all the employees. This company has no written policy on anything.

    I worked 2007 and 2008 taking only holiday vacations because it's a small business and they really couldn't afford to have me off more than that. Again, it was verbally reiterated that my 1 week per year was stilled owed, implying that I had now accumulated 2 weeks off.

    During December 2008 I took the week off accrued during 2007 and just a few days later, everyone including myself was off for the holidays.

    Now its 2009 and I requested my other week of vacation accrued for 2008, and my employer tells me, get this: That because in December 2008 I took my holiday vacations really close to my accrued vacation week for 2007, I am no longer entitled to that accrued week for 2008. I understand that no state requires the employer to offer vacation time. Although there is no written company policy regarding anything, isn't there an implied policy that has to be adhered to? All the employees will testify that they are in fact told that after 1 year they accumulate one week of paid vacation and everyone if fact does take their yearly week off. Can I legally hold him to that?

  • #2
    Legally hold?

    No, you can't...

    Wages in Texas include pay for time worked. Vacation, holiday, sick, parental, or severance pay are included if owed to an employee under a written agreement or written policy of the employer.

    You say there is no written policy. There is no legal obligation on the employer's part to pay for other than time worked.

    Sorry--

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    • #3
      Thank you. Just let me ask this then: So my employer can say everyone's entitled to a week off after one year, and uphold that agreement for some people but not for everyone, and there's nothing I can do if I get denied one of my weeks - all because there's nothing in writing? And no employee corroborations of any sort would hold up in court either?

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      • #4
        I can give you a general answer. The prior responder is better at TX then I am.

        There are basically two different types of laws effecting employees.
        - Labor law are laws that the government imposes on all employers and employees. An example would be the federal minimum wage and overtime rules. This is part of the FLSA law, and enforced by the federal DOL. It does not matter if the parties (employee and employer) agree to this or not because these are imposed laws. There are no federal rules on vacation. Some states have labor law rules regarding vacation, but TX is not one of those state. That is another way of saying that for employees in TX, there is no labor law regarding vacation.
        - Contract law however is an agreement between parties. You could in theory make an argument that a legally enforceable contract exists based on what you have said. In practice, company policies and offer letters almost never legally rise to the level of an enforceable contract, but you can certainly take your documents to a local attorney to review. Because there is no externally applied law, what we are left with are the exact wording of any documents and the very state specific rules on contract law. Any contract law answer always contains the words "take your documents to a local attorney" because the answer is always very specific to the exact wording of all documents.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Court?

          Originally posted by omega_digital View Post
          and there's nothing I can do if I get denied one of my weeks - all because there's nothing in writing? And no employee corroborations of any sort would hold up in court either?
          The Texas Payday Law says you may not prevail in a claim for unpaid wages under that law if there is no written agreement or written policy. Period.

          Court (if you can get there) may be another matter entirely. Then, as DAW so ably points out, we're not dealing with labor law, you're dealing with attorney arguments before a judge or jury. Anything can happen.

          The prevailing state law says you are not entitled to anything other than your basic wages, in the absence of a written agreement (contract) or written policy of the employer.

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