Does an employer have the right to not pay an employee their vacation?

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Does an employer have the right to not pay an employee their vacation?

I recently quit my job to take a better one. I had
vacation for the week of Christmas that was
approved in October. My employers did not pay
me my vacation and holiday pay. What are my
legal options in the state of Virginia?

Asked on January 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most states, including VA, do not require emploters to pay workers for any accrued vacation time upon departing. State law maintains that compamies have the right to establish any type of policy that they choose regarding such time. However, while the law doesn't require employers to give benefits (i.e. vacations, PTO, sick days, etc.), if they have policies stating that employees are to be paid for accrued vacation time, then legally the company must honor the policy/. Also, vacation time must be paid out if it is provided for in an employment contract or union agreement. Finally, no form of actionable discrimination must be the reason for not paying such time.


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