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  • Question about vacation pays Texas

    Hello. I would appreciate if someone can help me. I live in MA and started employment with a company in Texas in 1/2010. According to the offer letter that I signed with them, I'm "entitled to up to two (2) weeks of paid time off annually, accrued monthly, to be coordinated with your supervisor but otherwise used as you wish." I haven't used any vacations last year and was told that I can carryover my vacations which I did. Well, the company recently decided to terminate employment relationship (not because I got fired or quitted, but the company is having financial hardship and simply cannot pay their employees so they downsize). My questions are: should they pay me for my 2 weeks vacation that I accrued? I contacted them but they're not paying. Is that legal?Can I file a claim against this employer? Can I sue them? Thank you.

  • #2
    You can try filing a claim with the Texas Workforce Commission; it either works or it doesn't. Texas does not unconditionally require payment of accrued vacation at termination; the law requires only that the company follow its own policy .
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Re the requirement to pay earned vacation at termination - Texas: Private sector employers - no requirement to do so. (unless co. policy or required by a bona fide employment contract)

      Texas "use it or lose it" policy: No state laws prohibit such policies in the private sector. Any vested interest or right concerning accrued vacation pay must be determined from the terms of the contract of employment or company policy. However, where the contract or policy includes language that the policy may be modified at any time, the policy does not create a contractual obligation to pay the separating employee for unused vacation time.

      You can try filing a "wage" claim with the TWC as suggested.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        Filing a wage claim Tx.

        http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/ll1.pdf
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for your prompt answers. I will proceed with a claim. One thing though: I don't live in Texas, I'm from MA. Should I file a claim within my state since I pay taxes here? Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by desperateneed View Post
            I don't live in Texas, I'm from MA. Should I file a claim within my state since I pay taxes here? Thanks again.
            A claim for unpaid vacation for work performed in MA should be filed with MA. I also believe the rules for payment of accrued vacation on termination are some different. I would imagine MA is a bit more oriented toward vesting of accrued time, but there are posters here who are familiar with it.

            Again, Texas requires the payout of vacation pay if a company policy (written) requires it. It must be a specific requirement, and I doubt that the statement you put in your first post rises to that level, since it does not mention payout.

            You're probably on the lucky end of this one.

            For what it's worth, Texas is not the place to be this week, either. We're at 18 degrees this morning, although it's dry (as usual). Our friends in Amarillo saw real temps below 0. If Spring is coming, I can't smell it yet.

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            • #7
              Sorry, I thought the OP had worked in Texas.

              Actually, OP, this works out better for you, since MA law requires payment of accrued vacation at termination.

              The Attorney General's office serves as the DOL in Massachusetts.

              Um, Texas, here either. It's almost 9 a.m. and it's still only 8 degrees here with a wind chill of -3.
              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
                MA law requires the unconditional payout of earned but unused vacation at termination, regardless of the reason for the termination. The SOLE exception (and this is less an exception granted by law than it is a reason that the state will look the other way) is if a written company policy of which the employee is aware, states that after having had sufficient time to use the vacation, the employee has not done so, the time is lost. Example; A policy that an employee must use all time accrued in 2010 must be used by 12-31-2010 would not fly with the state; a policy that the employee must use all time accrued in 2010 must be used by 3-31-2011 *might* pass muster with the state IF the policy was in writing AND the employee was notified of the policy AND the state was feeling lazy on the day the employee made the complaint. The employee should file a claim with the MA state DOL, which as already indicated is managed by the AG's office here.

                All that being said, a certain expression about blood and turnips comes to mind.
                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Texas709 View Post
                  For what it's worth, Texas is not the place to be this week, either. We're at 18 degrees this morning, although it's dry (as usual). Our friends in Amarillo saw real temps below 0. If Spring is coming, I can't smell it yet.
                  I have a friend who lives in Fredericksburg, Texas. She said the wind chill was 8
                  yesterday but they didn't get any snow like some places in Tx.

                  OP, sorry but I also thought you worked in Tx.
                  Last edited by Betty3; 02-10-2011, 07:17 AM.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                    I have a friend who lives in Fredericksburg, Texas. She said the wind chill was 8
                    yesterday but they didn't get any snow like some places in Tx.

                    OP, sorry but I also thought you worked in Tx.
                    Been nearly 6 years since I lived in Texas. I was in Maryland for a couple of years after that, but now in PA, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      My friend's Mom lives in Lubbock & they get some fairly deep snow sometimes.
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just to be clear, I keep seeing phrases like "I live in MA" or "I pay taxes in MA", which are both legaly "who cares".

                        Which state was the work actually done in?
                        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                        • #13
                          You're right, DAW. OP titled thread about vacation pay Tx. but notes lives/pays taxes in Ma.

                          OP, we need to know in which state you performed the work. Thanks. (Employment
                          rules/laws nearly always go by the state where you worked.)
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                            You're right, DAW. OP titled thread about vacation pay Tx. but notes lives/pays taxes in Ma.

                            OP, we need to know in which state you performed the work. Thanks. (Employment
                            rules/laws nearly always go by the state where you worked.)
                            My office is virtual as my job is in field services and work nationwide: a week here, a week there. The company is located in Austin, TX, but I don't report there (only the paycheck is coming from them).

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                            • #15
                              What state was the actual work done in?
                              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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