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  • Labor questioning

    I work for a very large company in South Carolina. When I started with this company on 06-28-2004, I was told I would receive 10 vacation days and 7 discretionary days(similar to sick days) each year. From 06-28-04 through 12-04 my days were prorated. That is understandable.

    I was told as of 01-05 I would receive all my days up front. 10 vacation days, 7 discretionary days

    In February 2005, I took a discretionary day and when I got my check I was not paid. When my supervisor called payroll it was said that I did not have discretionary time so therefore I did not get paid. I questioned my supervisor, manager, human resource manager, in writing, and no one could tell me why I was not paid. After I did not let it drop and continued pressing the issue Human resource gave me a reason as to why I was not paid that was NOT in the handbook. I asked for something in writing and was told "there is nothing that could be given to me in writing to validate what was being said", even though the handbook stated something totally different. It took almost SIX months to get this information, even though it was the wrong answer.

    Then in September I took a vacation day and was not paid. Now, I requested a vacation day based on the time I had available, a Supervisor APPROVED my vacation time and I still did not get paid. I followed the same steps: spoke with my supervisor and he stated payroll advised him that I did not have any vacation days left, I spoke with Human Resource and he had no clue as to why I was not paid, I spoke with corporate and they had no clue as to why I was not paid. When I pressed the issue with Corporate they dug and realized I did have vacation time and should have been paid.

    In orientation I was told I would receive 10 vacation days and 7 discretionary days. When I started having problems with being paid for my days Human Resource then stated I only receive 6 vacation days and 3 discretionary days. Again, I asked for this in writing and was not provided with anything. My vacation/discretionary time prints on my check each week, we were told to go by our check stubs for accurate information concerning vacation and discretionary time. When there was a discrepency in what my check stated and what the company was telling me verbally, someone went on my check and removed the vacation time that I accrued and told me "NOT to go by my check stub. If I can not go by my check stub, managers do not know, how am I to know how much time I have available? My check is the only visible information I have as to how many vac/discretionary days are left

    These are the steps I have taken to obtain the information concerning vacation/discretionary time.
    I went to my team lead--no answer
    I went to my Supervisor-he referred me to Human Resource
    I went to Human Resource, he could not answer my questions or provide me with anything in writing.
    I called a 800 number hotline and reported my problems
    I contacted employee relations manager and reported this issue..nothing has been done and the year is almost up.
    I have showed the company information in their handbook concerning vac/discretionary time.

    Most of my correspondences are in writing so I have a huge paper trail on what has happended.

    Are companies required to follow what is stated in the handbook?
    Who is held liable for wrong information given to employees?
    Can a big company change the policy and not update the policy book or provide anything in writing?
    If a manager/supervisor approves days, should he be held liable for the information given? even if the information is wrong?

    This issue is causing a lot of problems for me because I base my bills off what I make each week. When I ask for a vacation/discretionary day, that I was told I am eligible for, I take the day and not get paid, that puts a strain on my family and no one is willing to take responsibilty for the information given to cause these errors. I have even gone to work on pre-scheduled vacation days because I was not sure if I would be paid for my days.

    Thanks so much for listening and I am hoping/praying you can guide me in the right direction on where I should go from here.


    Cassy

  • #2
    Duplicate post.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      Duplicate post error

      I posted this message more than once in error. My other messages have "duplicate post", but I do not see any other replies. Does anyone know how I can delete the other two post so that someone can answer just one post?

      Comment


      • #4
        I can delete the duplicates. However, you've posted this question on other boards as well as here; I've seen it, and I've seen the answers you've gotten there. I take it you're looking for a more favorable answer than you've already received?

        In any case, here are the answers to your questions.

        Are companies required to follow what is stated in the handbook?

        No.


        Who is held liable for wrong information given to employees?

        That depends on what wrong information was given; by whom; where they got the information from, and the circumstances of the specific situation. There is no way we can give you a blanket answer.


        Can a big company change the policy and not update the policy book or provide anything in writing?

        Yes. It's not necessarily good management, but it's not illegal either.

        If a manager/supervisor approves days, should he be held liable for the information given? even if the information is wrong?

        Not necessarily. Even if the information is right, an employer has the right to rescind permission to take a vacation day. Vacation time is not a statutory right - it is a benefit that is granted by the employer and does not have to be taken when it's convenient for you; the employer can approve or deny it as is convenient for them.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Response

          Thanks for replying.

          I was not looking for a more favorable response. I have not seen the other responses. I am new to the board and posted the other messages in error.

          Thanks anyway,

          Cass

          Comment


          • #6
            1. "If a manager/supervisor approves days, should he be held liable for the information given? even if the information is wrong?"

            Not necessarily. Even if the information is right, an employer has the right to rescind permission to take a vacation day. Vacation time is not a statutory right - it is a benefit that is granted by the employer and does not have to be taken when it's convenient for you; the employer can approve or deny it as is convenient for them.


            ----The employer did not rescind my vacation day. I took the vacation day and found out the next week that I was not paid for a pre-approved vacation day---- So, I took the day thinking I would be paid and was not paid after being approved to take the vacation day.

            2. "Can a big company change the policy and not update the policy book or provide anything in writing?:

            Yes. It's not necessarily good management, but it's not illegal either.
            ----So a company can change the rules at any given time without prior notice to the employee of changes?----

            Could you tell me where the other answers are found on this board? The only responses I have seen stated "duplicate", letting me know it was a duplicate message.

            Comment


            • #7
              The other answers were not on Labor Law Talk, but on the other forum where you posted the question.

              Believe me, I am not defending your employer or saying you don't have a right to be upset. I completely understand how frustrating you must find this. But the fact remains that an employer does have the right to change the terms and conditions of employment, barring a bona fide contract that says otherwise.
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Again,

                Thank you so much for responding..

                I understand you saying an employer has a right to change the rules. I do not have a problem with that.

                You are right it is a very frustrating situation. I was never made aware of any changes until November 05, after I had already taken my vacation days for the year and was not paid for several days..Then months later the company comes and says--oooppppss----there has been a change in vacation..It just seems like employees should have been provided something (email-verbal-update in handbook) requiring any changes..

                I do not know about the rest of the world but if I am told I have a vacation day, and I take my vacation day..I expect to be paid for the day..

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree that employees should have been provided with something to tell them about the change. However, that does not necessarily make their failure to do so illegal. What an employer should do and what an employer is required to do, are not always the same thing.

                  SC does have some requirements regarding notification of the initial terms of employment. I honestly don't know if the same requirements apply to subsequent changes. But even if they do, that doesn't necessarily mean they would have to pay you for the vacation day since there is no statutory requirement that they offer paid vacation in the first place. On the other hand, it's possible that their failure to notify you and the other employees of the change, MIGHT mean they have to pay you for THIS vacation day, even if subsequent ones do not have to be paid under the new policy. You might want to see what the state DOL has to say.
                  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.

                  Comment

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