Can my employer refuse to pay me for earned vacation pay?

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Can my employer refuse to pay me for earned vacation pay?

I was just recently terminated from my job by my general manager without any reason. I was fired on payday and so they gave me my last paycheck and told me they did not have to give me a reason as to why they are terminating me. I had worked there for over a year and had no problems with my previous managers. The manager that fired me had never written me up for anything in the past so when he fired me it was a shock. Also, he told me he does not have to pay me my earned vacation (1 year of employment you earn 1 week of paid vacation). Is this true? And is there anything I can do to find out why I was fired?

Asked on August 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Your employer may terminate you for any reason--or without reason--unless you had an employment contract.

2) The employer does not have to explain why you were fired.

3) Your employer only needs to pay out accrued vacation pay if either you had an employment agreement saying they would, or if you can show that it was their policy, up to when you were terminated, to pay out vacation to terminated employees--that is, if they had voluntarily adopted that policy, you could potentially sue to recover the vacation money. But if they did not have a policy of paying out on vacation, you would have  no recourse.


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