What can I do if after leaving my current employer, they are refusing to pay my accrued vacation at my current salaried wage?

First off I would like to state there is no written policy for my employer to fall back on. Over a decade of work I accrued a substantial amount of vacation hours which rolled over year after year. Now that I have left the company they are refusing to pay out my vacation hours at my final salaried wage. Instead they have produced a spreadsheet which shows all the hours I’ve accrued and what my salary was when I accrued them. Of course paying my accrued vacation at the lesser wages will substantially decrease the amount of wages. Are they properly calculating the value of my accrued vacation or are they cutting my payout short?

Asked on June 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your employer's calculation is atypical, but not illegal. In your state, if the employer did not have a written policy limiting or denying payment for unused vacation on termination of employment, the employer must pay the employee the "cash value" of the vacation time. Nothing makes it illegal to calculate that value as of when it was earned, and there is in fact a certain logic to it, because in this regard, the vacation pay is like deferred compensation, which is calculated or determiend as of when it was accrued.

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