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Company Handbook and Vacation Pay

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  • Company Handbook and Vacation Pay

    I resigned after 18 years with a small company in Alabama. I have an employee handbook (I signed when I received any changes over the years) that states employees will be paid for any unused vacation upon termination. I have over six weeks of accrued time. A couple of weeks before resigning, I was asked to sign a document saying the company handbook was no longer in effect and would be replaced. I did not sign, stating that I desired to wait to see the replacement. No replacement was presented prior to my resignation.

    The company now states that their "attorneys say they aren't required to pay". I'm not sure what this is based on. While I know AL does not have a law requiring payout of accrued vacation at termination, it is specified as policy in the company handbook. Additionally, seven other employees who have resigned this year WERE compensated for all unsused vacation.

    Does the handbook and the precedent set by my former colleagues who also resigned give me any legal recourse?


  • #2
    They told you the old handbook was no longer in effect. The fact that you refused to sign acknowledging this fact does not make it untrue, even for you. It appears they have changed the policy, which they are allowed to do, even retroactively. The fact that other employees have been paid accrued vacation at termination, which was in line with the policy in the old handbook, is irrelevant if the policy is no longer in effect.

    I agree that this is quite unfair that you were not notified of this, nor were current employees grandfathered into the new policy. However, there is no law that prohibits the employer in your state from doing this, and I actually don't see any legal recourse. Sorry, it stinks, but it appears that's the way it is.
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