Can my employer just take my vacation time without paying me

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer just take my vacation time without paying me

My company paid for my health insurance
while I was out of work, I have them my
two weeks notice and they took all my
vacation time and sent me a Bill for
500. Can they take my vacation time,
and do I owe them anything on that
remaining amount they paid?

Asked on November 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, no: when you give notice, they cannot bill you for or otherwise expect compensation for benefits they paid for you, and they cannot debit your vacation time--though bear in mind, in your state, there is no legal obligation to pay you out for unused vacation time on termination of employment unless there was a written employment agreement or policy that they pay you the accrued but unused time; otherwise, in the absence of something in writing, you lose the unusued time on termination anyway.
However, you state that you were out of work: if you gave your notice either while still out on work or just came back to work long enough to give notice, then they may be able to bill you for the benefits they paid for: when a company pays for your benefits while out, it is with the understanding and implicit agreement that you will remain an employee and return to work--they would not have to pay for someone who'd told them before going out that he/she was not returning. Therefore, if from the facts it looks like you were not planning on returning, they may have a case that you obtained the benefits under false pretenses and are not entitled to them.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption