Can employer require I sign a release and agreement to separate for entitled accrued vacation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can employer require I sign a release and agreement to separate for entitled accrued vacation?

Employer laid me off, didn’t give me DOL-800, offer CORBRA and is now requiring me to sign a release that I agreed to separate from the company in order to receive my accrued vacation. Do I need to agree to that and sign to get my 18 days? I was laid off about 2 months ago. I reviewed the employee handbook which states I am entitled to 2 days per month but also says to reference my employment agreement. My agreement has no reference of sick, vacation, holiday, PTO or otherwise. I know of 2 other employees laid off last year that were there less than a year were paid their accrued vacation. I had been with the company 3 months shy of 8 years although this company bought my company 2 years ago.

Asked on November 29, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state does NOT require payment of accrused but unused vacation pay: the company only has to pay it out when your employment ends if there was a written contract or a firm, unambiguous written company policy requiring them to pay your unused vacation out at the end of employment. Without such written contract or policy, it is purely voluntary for the company to pay you out for your vacation, and even if they did it for other employees, they would not be obligated to do it for you. Therefore, without something in writing guarantying your the payout, the company could choose to only pay you if sign the release you describe.

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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