Can my employer refuse to not pay unused vacation time after layoff?

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Can my employer refuse to not pay unused vacation time after layoff?

I was recently let go from my position due to no fault of my own. My company lost a client and they said they could no longer afford the payroll. There were 4 of us that they cut loose that day. I had 83 hours of vacation time that I had kept putting aside because we were too busy at the office for me to use most. The day of the layoff, I asked when they would be compensating me for that time that I was unable to use and they told me that it had no cash value and they do not owe it to me. I feel that it is owed to me. I put their needs ahead of my own and if I had used it a month earlier, I would have gotten paid for it. There is also another employee that had worked there for 15 years who had 130 hours she had not used. She is also seeking why and how they can deny a promised benefit.

Asked on July 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Under KY law, employers are required to require pay all wages or salary earned at the time of separation. The term “wages” includes any compensation due to an employee by reason of their employment, which includes "vested" vacation pay. In order to know how much vacation pay must be paid at separation, it is therefore necessary to determine how much of an employee’s vacation pay has vested. Therefore, an employment policy is to specifically define when and how vacation pay vests.  At this point, you may want to consult with a local employment law attorney or contact your state's department of labor for futher information.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Under KY law, employers are required to require pay all wages or salary earned at the time of separation. The term “wages” includes any compensation due to an employee by reason of their employment, which includes "vested" vacation pay. In order to know how much vacation pay must be paid at separation, it is therefore necessary to determine how much of an employee’s vacation pay has vested. Therefore, an employment policy is to specifically define when and how vacation pay vests.  At this point, you may want to consult with a local employment law attorney or contact your state's department of labor for futher information.


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