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Forced Vaction Time for plant shutdown (unaccrued) Illinois

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  • Forced Vaction Time for plant shutdown (unaccrued) Illinois

    This may have been asked before, but I could not find the thread.

    My company does two annual plant shut down per year. One from Christmas to New Years and one over the 4th of July holiday. We get 10 vacation days per year (which are accrued) and my employer requires us to take 4 vacation days for each of these shut downs (which is the number of days the plant is closed minus the holidays we get off). This only leaves us with two vacation day for the rest of the year. Is this legal? They are saying that everyone has to use all their accrued vacation days during this shut down and take the remaining unpaid. Also the new people who have not accrued enough days have to either use their unaccrued days or take it as unpaid. Is that legal? I thought if they did not provide you a work site then they had to pay you your salary (by the way I am an exempt employee). They want me to submit time off request form and I don't know how to submit it (if I should say paid or unpaid and if I can fight it or get fired for fighting it).

    Is there a link to a site that has more specifics on this? I tried searching the DOL and the Illinois DOL but did not have much luck finding the actual law.

    Thank you for your help.

  • #2
    Mostly legal. Under federal labor, paid time off (including vacation) is mostly not discussed. Federal labor law (FLSA) covers paying people for time actually worked. The only possible federal labor law restriction would be for Exempt Salaried employees only under the 29 CFR 541.602 rules. This regulation places restrictions on the docking of the salary for these types of employees only. No such restriction exists in federal law for other classes of employees.

    IL is not my state. I can say that my state (CA) which has much tougher labor laws then IL would consider the practice you describe as legal (subject to the 541.602 limitations) and to my knowledge so would all other states. Perhaps another responder has different information.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      There is no state where requiring an employee, exempt or non-exempt, to take vacation time during a shut down is illegal. Vacation is not required by law in any state; the employer gets to make the rules about how and when it is 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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      • #4
        Originally posted by snake654 View Post
        I thought if they did not provide you a work site then they had to pay you your salary (by the way I am an exempt employee).
        That is true of exempt employees if the exempt works any during the work week (less any full days taken off for personal reasons). If the exempt employee does not work at all during a work week, then no pay is required.

        We have a couple of clients that work Monday through Friday, but their work weeks commence on Thursday. So a shut down for Christmas week plus Dec 31 and Jan 1 will leave two work days the calendar week prior and three days the next week. Exempt employees, otherwise available for work, would get full salary.
        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.

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