Can an employer make you take your paid vacation at a certain time?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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Can an employer make you take your paid vacation at a certain time?

My employer is trying to make me take my vacation at a certain time that I dont want to take. I have a wedding coming up and they wont allow me to use my paid vacation for it.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that employees typically see vacation as a mandatory benefit of their employment. They mistakenly believe that it it theirs to take as they choose. However, as a general rule, there is no law mandating that vacation time be given; it is up to the discretion of each employer. 

Therefore, since this is a voluntary benefit, your employer can tell you when and how much to take; it can even refuse to let you take it all. So unless you have a union agreement, employment contract or company that provides otherwise (or if you believe yourself to be a victim of discrimination), as an at-will employee your are subject to your employer's terms and conditions.

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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