Cana companyforce an employee to use their vacation time?

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Cana companyforce an employee to use their vacation time?

The company that I work for has announced they are shutting down for 2 weeks in July. They also told us they will not be approving unemployment and we must save 80 hours of vacation time to use during this time. If we do not have 80 hours of vacation time left over we will be given absence occurrences for whatever time is left. Now I have fought this company a few times when they informed us of new regulations, and it turned out they were breaking the law. So my question is, is this legal?

Asked on January 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I know that this seems harsh but it is probably legal.  First of all, the majority of employment relationships are "at will".  Meaning that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason.  It can also increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  Absent something in the nature of an employment agreement, or a union contract, or a stated company policy to the contrary this holds true (or if some type of discrimination is a factor).

The fact is that while employees generally see vacation as an automatic condition of employment that can use as they see fit, the law doesn't see it this way.  Vacations are not legally required.  To the extent that an employer institutes such a policy it is a voluntary benefit and as such the employer can design it any way it chooses.  This includes when and whether to allow an employee to take this time.


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