Can an employer deny vacation time on a holiday?

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2011

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Can an employer deny vacation time on a holiday?

For instance, if an employee requests to use vacation time on a holiday weekend.

Asked on June 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can do this. Absent a company policy contrary to this or a union/employment contract that governs this situation, your employer can deny the use of vacation time.  Although most employees believe that they have the right to use accrued vacation time whenever they choose this simply is not the case.  It is perfectly permissable for an employer to deny requests to use such time, holiday or not. Conversely, an employer can mandate when and how such time is to be used. The fact is that neither federal law nor the laws of most states mandate that vacation time even be offered to employees.  Vacation (or PTO) is a discretionary benefit on the part of an employer.  Therefore, to the extent that private-sector employers decide to adopt vacation policies, they can design and implement their policies in most any way that they see  fit.

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