Do I lose my accumulated paid vacation time after I go part-time?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I lose my accumulated paid vacation time after I go part-time?

I have a question concerning vacation time. In our employee handbook it states
that an employee is eligible for 3 weeks of paid vacation time after working for
the company full-time for 10 years. I have been working for this company for 10
years and am eligible for this vacation time. However, I am starting nursing
school soon, and I am planning to go part-time. The question is do I lose my
accumulated paid vacation time?

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In your state, any vacation time actually accrued/earned cannot be taken away: it is treated the same as wages you've earned, so just as if you earned wages, then cannot be taken away even if not yet paid out to you, so, too, you cannot lose vacation days once you have earned them.
However, except to the extent your accrual (how much you get) of vacation time is guaranteed by written contract, your employer may change the policy for how many days you earn or get in the future. So your employer may reduce how many weeks of vacation you will get once you go part-time, but any days you have earned so far, you may keep.

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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