Can an employer take away an employee’s accrued paid vacation time?

My employer has set a deadline for me to use or lose my accrued
vacation time, but is refusing to allow me to use it by the deadline
because he has no one available to cover my duties. Is this legal?

Asked on March 11, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It's not legal if they don't give you the opportunity to use the vacation time. Employers in your state are allowed to manage vacation time by requiring it to be used or lost, but they have to then allow you a reasonable chance to use it. If they don't let you use it, they are simply denying you something you worked for and earned, which is a breach of contract (a violation of the agreement between you and then, whether written or oral, pursuant to which you agreed to work in exchange for certain pay and benefits). Unfortunately, if they are determined to do this, the only way to enforce your rights would be by suing your employer, so you'd need to decide whether suing your employer is worthwhile.


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