Employee Vacation Payout

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Employee Vacation Payout

I have a question with regards to payment of benefits to employees. There was a mistake made under a previous HR manager who overcalculated an employee’s vacation hours vacation hours accrue at 3.08 per pay period up to 80 hours and can roll-over to the following year. Based on this calculation, an employee of ours took 32 hours of paid vacation which we paid out, because he thought that if he didn’t take it then he would lose it due to the 80 hour cap on vacation roll-over. After he took the vacation and the company paid for it, the mistake in the calculations was discovered that he didn’t actually have the extra 32 hours over his 80 hour maximum. Now, the employee is saying that he would not have taken the vacation had he been correctly informed about his hours, and thus, he deserves those vacation hours back. He has also decided to leave the company, and, since we pay out vacation hours, he wants those vacation hours that he would have had had he been correctly informed of the situation as part of his termination payout. Under state labor law, given the prior mistake in the vacation calculations, must we pay him out this amount?

Asked on January 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you don't need to pay him out for those hours, because the law does not let someone "double dip," or be paid twice for the same thing. He took the hours and was already paid for them--he was paid his wage or salary while not working. He cannot be paid them a second time. Whether or not he now wishes he had not used those hours before is irrelevant: he did use them, and was paid.

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