Can your employer deny your earned vacation request for no reason?

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Can your employer deny your earned vacation request for no reason?

I put a request in for vacation 45 days in advance. Company policy is 30 days. The same day Iput in my general manager said to me, that he was not giving me that week off any more; I have had the same week off for the last 6 years. No reason was given and when I asked him why I was told to stop questioning his authority and to get back to work.

Asked on August 16, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you don't have a case here. Once vacation is earned an employer cannot take it away. However vacation time and sick time (i.e. PTO) is not an automatic benefit of employment; it is a discretionary benefit that an employer may or may not provide. Therefore, while such time cannot be taken once earned, an employer can dictate when and how it is used. And it can do so for any reason or no reason at all.

In "at will" work relationships, employers can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit; in turn an employee can choose to work for that employer or not. Absent a union agreement, employment contract or other company policy that prohibits this action, no law has been violated by your employer. So unless there is some form of actionable discrimination at play in this situation (and you did not indicate that to be the case), you have no legal claim here.


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