Are employers required to pay out vacation time to employees who have resigned from their position?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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Are employers required to pay out vacation time to employees who have resigned from their position?

I worked for a little over 2 years for a contractor in KSwho was responsible for working with families whose children had been removed by social services. Over the 2 years and 1 month that I worked there I had 160 hours of vacation time in my “reserves,” and 184 vacation hours to use. I left my position for a position with the state. Am I entitled to compensation for the vacation hours that were granted to me during the time I was employed by this agency?

Asked on August 27, 2011 Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I believe that Kansas does not itself mandate that unused vacation time be paid  out on termination of employment. Therefore, the issue is--

1) If you had an employment contract, what did it say about vacation time? If there is a contract, its terms will control. Even if you don't have a formal "contract," if you have offer letters, emails, etc. describing your pay, benefits, etc., those might be enough to create an enforceable contract; if not, they may also show your company policy (see below).

2) If there is no contract, what is the policy of the employer? Employers may set their own policies about paying vacation time, but then need to follow them consistently, at least until they change those policies (and changes can't be retroactive). If there's an employee handbook, what does it say? If there is no employee handbook or other document setting out a vacation pay policy, what has the employer done for previous employees--that can be used to determine policy.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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