Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements


No announcement yet.

Vacation Hours maxed, but time-off not granted....? California

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Vacation Hours maxed, but time-off not granted....? California

    I did a quick search and didn't find this question, so I hope I didn't overlook it.

    Anyway - I have maxed out on my 400 hours vacation cap. I can't accrue any more hours. I now want to take 20-30 hours off so that I can begin accumulating them again, but my vacations request was denied.

    They are making it impossible for me to accrue any more vacation... bums me out. Do I have any other recourse?

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    There is no law in any state, including CA, that gives the employee the right to take vacation at any time they choose. An employer is entitled to deny a vacation request that falls at a bad time 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.


    • #3
      The closest rule CA has to your situation goes like this.

      5. Q. My employer’s vacation policy provides that once an employee earns 200 hours of vacation, no more vacation may be earned (accrued) until the vacation balance falls below that level. Is this legal?

      A. Yes, such a provision would be acceptable to the Labor Commissioner. Unlike "use it or lose it" policies, a vacation policy that places a "cap" or "ceiling" on vacation pay accruals is permissible. Whereas a "use it or lose it" policy results in a forfeiture of accrued vacation pay, a "cap" simply places a limit on the amount of vacation that can accrue; that is, once a certain level or amount of accrued vacation is earned but not taken, no further vacation or vacation pay accrues until the balance falls below the cap. The time periods involved for taking vacation must, of course, be reasonable. If implementation of a "cap" is a subterfuge to deny employees vacation or vacation benefits, the policy will not be recognized by the Labor Commissioner.

      In defining "reasonable" in this context, the Labor Commissioner has taken the position that a worker must have at least nine months after the accrual of the vacation within which to take the vacation before a cap is effective. This "reasonable" time allows an employee to take fully vested vacation at times convenient to both the employee and employer without forcing an employer to accrue a large vacation pay (or time) liability.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        DAW, doesn't that "reasonable period" pertain to when a cap is implemented, i.e., during the transition period only (not on an ongoing basis)? That was my understanding.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          Maybe, although my understanding is a little different. The word "transition" is not actually mentioned anywhere in the rule, and arguably trying to use that word as part of the rules is a bit of a guess.

          Let's say that Bob normally earns 10/hrs/month and hits a cap limit at 180 hours (18 months). I think we both agree that if Bob is not allowed to take vacation at all for say that next 3 years, that a violation has occured. The key is (to me anyhow) that the first 10 hours took 18 months before hitting it's head on the cap. My understanding, possibibly wrong, is that if the employer refused attemps by Bob the entire 18 months to take that first 10 hours, then the employer has a problem. If instead Bob is waiting until pretty late in the game to request vacation, then Bob is the one with the problem.

          I would argue (perhaps incorrectly) that the employer can safely put off any vacation request from Bob for a period of no more then 9 months if a cap isssue is involved. The employer can still always refuse the vacation request, but at some point, the cap arguably is no longer legal.
          Last edited by DAW; 11-07-2007, 07:57 PM.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


          • #6
            At the risk of sounding editorial, why do you need more than 400 hours of vacation? Are you planning to take 50 days off? In my experience you are in the small minority to even be in a position to accrue that much, so the issue of being able to "begin accumulating again" seems pointless since you will still max out at 400. Sure it would be nice if it were unlimited, but many people max out at under 200 or even under 100 hours.

            I think the recourse is not a legal one, but to tell your employer you would like to go on vacation and negotiate when that could happen. If you work in an industry such as retail, it is routine to deny vacations in 4th quarter prior to Christmas and end of the year inventory. It isnt clear if they are telling you that you cannot ever go on vacation, or just this particular one. Even if the latter, you might still be able to use your time for half-day Fridays or three day weekends.

            Also keep in mind that unused vacation is paid out upon separation. I suspect you're making more than minimum wage, so my crystal ball sees a nice vacation in your future at some point.
            Last edited by Psycorps; 11-08-2007, 10:36 AM.


            The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.