Do I get paid for my unused vacation and personal days on my last check after being terminated?

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2011

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Do I get paid for my unused vacation and personal days on my last check after being terminated?

I have acquired 10 vacation days and 3 personal days since my start date of employment. Do I have the right to get paid for these days since I have earned them for my time working their after being terminated? When can I cash in my 401k from this previous employer?

Asked on January 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There is no law, whether federal or Texas, requiring employees be paid for accrued but unused vacation and personal days after termination. Each employer is free to set its own policies--though it must follow its policies consistently. If you have a contract, offer letter, etc. saying that you will be paid these days, you must be paid them. If not, if the employee handbook clearly, unequivocally, and without limitation, exception, reservation, etc. says you will paid, you should be paid. Failing that, you can look to your employer's prior practice to establish the policy--if they've consistently paid others in like situations, they need to pay you, too. However, if they have not paid these days previously and not specifically promised  them in an agreement to you, they don't need to pay them out.

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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