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

UPDATED: Aug 7, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

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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