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Employer Takes Back Days - NJ Vacation Law Question

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  • Employer Takes Back Days - NJ Vacation Law Question

    My employer shuts down our entire business for several days over the holidays. According to our employee handbook, employees are allotted a certain number of vacation and sick days dependent upon how many years they've worked for this employer. The catch is that they demand that we use a certain number of these days every year to compensate for the time that *they* are shutting down the plant. Depending on the year, the number of days taken varies due to the days of the week on which the seasonal holidays fall. For instance, this year the holidays fall on Monday and Friday, and they will be closed for that entire week. They give us the monday and friday off, but require that we "give back" 3 vacation days to compensate for the rest of that week. They close down the plant for that entire week, so we do not have the option to work.

    In effect this cuts down the number of vacation/sick days that we have for the year. For example, if you, according to the handbook, have 15 days for the year, this year you would instead have just 12. On other years when the holidays fall diferently, this policy can knock 4-5 days off of your total vacation time. If you have just 15 days then, obviously, that's a whopping 33% of your vacation/sick days that must be dedicated to their closing the plant.

    Does anyone know if this is legal? It seems like it's not right. Perhaps they should have the right to not pay hourly employees for that week if they're choosing to be closed, but I just can't see how they can take days from us for days that they're not open. It's like requiring vacation days for weekends - a day off from somewhere that isn't open is not a day off. The fact that we can not roll over our days to the following year, and the fact that we are not compensated for our days if we don't use them within the year, just makes the employees all the more frustrated.

    Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks very much-

    -Frustrated.

  • #2
    Does anyone know if this is legal? It's completely legal. Your employer doesn't have to provide any paid vacation and sick days at all. They're completely free to dictate when you take some or all of that time, should they care to.

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