Is it legal for my job to make me pay back vaca hours after i quit?

I recently quit my job. At the
beginning of the year I had 55.23 of
accrued vacation hours. As of the date
that I quit working, I still had around
14 hours left. My office manager not
only took the 14 but deducted money
from my last check and marked it as
‘Baca payback’. On my paycheck stubs
the hours are marked as ACCRUED VACA
HOURS.

Asked on April 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) An employer does not have to pay you out for unused vacation hours (the 14 hours you had left) on termination of employment (including quiting), unless and only if you had a written employment contract requiring them to pay the unused time.
2) However, they cannot charge an employee money for "vaca payback" unless the employee had not yet accrued the  vacation he or she took, but rather was advanced (basically "loaned") the hours or days against future accrual, which he/she will now be able able to earn out due to the termination of employment. In this case, since the time was loaned, the employees can be made to repay that loan. But if all the hours used had been accrued, the employer may not charge the employee for them; and if the employer did, the employee could file a wage complaint with the state department of labor or sue the employer (e.g. in small claims court) for the money.


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