Can you be denied time off unpaid requested months in advance because other employees have unused paid vacation time but no others have requested the same days off as you?

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Can you be denied time off unpaid requested months in advance because other employees have unused paid vacation time but no others have requested the same days off as you?

I requested unpaid time off for a trip I am receiving for my Christmas present, I have used all of my vacation time not knowing about this gift but was denied being able to take it off because other employees have not used all of their time yet and may want to for the time I have requested, but as of right now I am the only person asking for those days off.

Asked on August 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be denied such time. The fact is that a company need not allow unaid time off, even if it was previously approved. That is unless such time is provided by the terms of a union/collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. Also, an employer must not engage in any form of legally actionable discrimination (which you gave no indication of in your case). Otherwise, in an "at will" work relationship, an employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit.


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