If my employer was bought out and some employees were paid their vacation pay but others were not, what do I have to do to get my money?

Some employees were paid vacation time that they had accured during their years in the company but that they hadn’t used. Others had also time but didn’t get their money at the time this happened. I’m of course one of those that had the time but the company didn’t pay me. Now they are refusing to pay those that are due vacation money. What can I do? To my understanding I can’t even try to contact the prior company because they are no where to be contacted.

Asked on June 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, employers are not required to pay out vacation time when they are bought out, unless the employees had written employment contracts requiring the pay out; and if there were no contracts, an employer would be free to pay some employees but not others, the same way an employer is free to give some employees better benefits or larger bonuses than others. Without a contract requiring a payout, you would have no cause of action or viable claim.
Even if you had a written employment contract requiring vacation payout, if it was with an employer that no longer exists or can't be located, as a practical matter, you would likely be unable to enforce it.

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