Can my employer require me to surrender my vacation time for a mandatory company shut-down, the day before a holiday?

UPDATED: May 24, 2012

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Can my employer require me to surrender my vacation time for a mandatory company shut-down, the day before a holiday?

My employer’s main branch is based in another state from the branch that I work out of. The company has already subtracted 3 of my vacation days (2 weeks were granted to me immediately at the beginning of the year) for holidays at the end of the year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years). Basically, my question is, would it be considered legal for them to have docked these vacation days (and so far in advance) for days that the company is requiring a mandatory shut-down of the branch? For example, the Friday before Christmas Eve?

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal:

1) The law does not require employees to be given paid holidays, or paid days before holidays or for plant shutdowns.

2) Employers are not required to even give employees vacation days at all; and if they give them, may put conditions on their use, including that they be used when the office or plant is closed.

The bright side is that you will be paid for the day, when the employer otherwise would not have to pay you while it's shut down.

Note that if you have an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, that would be a different story--follow its terms in regard to vacation days, shutdowns, and holidays.

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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