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California-exempt vacation

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  • California-exempt vacation

    Our company was purchased 1 1/2 years ago and at that time the new owners said we(California Employees) would be paid out for our accrued vacations in June of this year. Then in late may they came back and said we(California Employees) would now be paid out in Jan. 2009. About 2 weeks ago alot of us started receiving emails and calls from our district HR asking if we had any vacation planned before the end of the year or if we could take vacation before the end of the year.
    A few days ago we get an email from District HR saying we will now be closed from Christmas thru Jan 5th. All employees(hourly, exempt and non exempt)must use vacation time. If you don't have vacation time then you will be allowed to go in the negative 40hrs to receive a paycheck. Managers will also be required to keep thier cell phones during this time period.
    We feel the California employees are being singled out because of the accured vacation and upcoming vacation payout.
    Our question is this legal to only have the California District closed and require thier employees to use thier accrued vacation time on such short notice and not require all districts(East, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, Etc) to also be closed? What is the law if a Salary employee answers thier company cell phones during this time period? Is thier a time limit as to what we have to work before we can claim it as a worked day or week?

  • #2
    It's very possible that you are being "singled out" because you are in California, a state where vacation is vested as it is earned and cannot be lost. However, it is not illegal for the company to do that. Nor is it illegal to require employees to use accrued vacation for the closure. I am surprised, however, that they will allow the employees to "go negative", as California law prohibits the recovery of "advanced vacation" upon termination.

    Regarding minimal time for exempt employees during this period, generally speaking, a few minutes a day is not going to render the entire day as a "day worked" for which the pro-rated salary (in lieu of vacation) must be paid.

    In any case, I don't see anything in this situation that violates any California wage and hour laws.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 11-29-2008, 07:20 AM.
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