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Vacation pay upon quitting right before use-it-or-lose-it deadline, Illinois

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  • Vacation pay upon quitting right before use-it-or-lose-it deadline, Illinois

    I have over 3 weeks of accrued but unused vacation time.

    The annual use-it-or-lose-it vacation deadline is less than 2 weeks away.

    If I quit and my last day of employment is exactly one day before the use-it-or-lose-it deadline, am I entitled to a payout of all my accrued but unused vacation time (over 3 weeks), or has some of that accrued but unused vacation time been already effectively forfeited because I am so near to the use-it-or-lose-it deadline already?

    My company's policy merely says this:
    "Unused vacation is forfeited at the end of the fiscal year"

    Last edited by NotherWorkingStiff; 01-19-2016, 01:43 PM.

  • #2
    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
      Thanks, cbg.

      In my case, I don't have any contract or CBA that applies.

      The heart of the issue in my case is whether one starts forfeiting days accrued, in terms of vacation pay issued upon the end of employment, once one starts approaching the use-it-or-lose it deadline. I haven't seen anything addressing this on the Illinois Department of Labor website, nor in any of my web searches.

      I found the below...

      "The legal question most often associated with the payment of vacation pay is what happens to an employee’s unused earned vacation credits upon the termination of employment. Nearly all states classify vacation as “wages,” which, if owed to an employee, must be paid at the time of termination or within a certain specified period of time (usually a matter of a few days or even hours) following an employee’s resignation or discharge. Nearly all states, however, are in agreement that all conditions to earning paid vacation must be met in order for vacation to be deemed “wages” that are due an employee upon the termination of employment."

      ...from an American bar newsletter:

      If the accrued but unused vacation time has the property of being wages, which the above suggests is the case in nearly all states, then it should not matter that for practical purposes, the accrued vacation time can no longer be fully converted into time off from work when there are more days of accrued vacation time than there are days remaining until the use-it-or-lose-it deadline. Wages are wages, and until those wages are forfeited following the use-it-or-lose-it deadline, they should retain their full value, without regard to what proportion could feasibly converted into time off from work before the use-it-or-lose-it deadline.


      • #4
        Quit the day before and they very well might make your official last day the day after which vacation drops.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        • #5
          For anyone in a similar situation in the future, I just wanted to confirm that I _did_ receive a full payout for all of my accrued vacation days, even though I was ending employment just one day before the use-it-or-lose-it deadline, so the amount of days remaining until the use-it-or-lose-it deadline is irrelevant in terms of determining how many of the accrued vacation days are paid out, at least in Illinois.


          • #6
            Thanks for the update - glad you got full payout.
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