If my company is violating company policy by not granting my paid leave time, do I have grounds to sue them?

I am familiar with the Act that says that no company has to provide vacation, sick, etc, but does that still apply to companies who are violating their own policies regarding time off? I have reviewed the policy and no where in there does it state that I cannot take the paid leave time that I am requesting.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The key issue is whether the "policy" you describe creates an enforceable contract, or whether it is just guidelines which are not binding. For there to be an enforceable contract, the policy must clearly set forth, without disclaimers, that an employee has the right to take his/her leave under certain circumstances; if then, you have complied with those circumstances, they are breaching a contract.

However, if the policy does not clearly give you such a right or contains disclaimers, then there is likely no contract and thus no actionable breach. Then the secondary issue becomes this: if you have time off which you have either earned or accrued as part of your compensation, you must be allowed to take it at some time--but the company does have discretion to (within reason) tell  you when you may use it, or how many days in a row you may take, so as to avoid disruption, understaffing, etc. at work. So they can't prevent you from taking it forever, but they may put restricitons on how and when you use the leave.


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