Does the law provide that an employer must pay you for vacation time even if you’ve been terminated?

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Does the law provide that an employer must pay you for vacation time even if you’ve been terminated?

I was recently fired. They did this to avoid paying me severance. I’m wondering if they at least have to pay me for vacation, by law? Also, chances for filing for unemployment if I admitted misconduct on the job?

Asked on August 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It appears that in Illiniois, IF the vacation days were already earned or accrued, they would have to pay you for  them, but not if they were not yet accrued. So a lot may depend on the accrual policy and schedule in your former employer.

Note that there is generally no obligation to pay departing employees--whether resigning, laid off or RIF'd, or fired--severance. It is up to a company to decide whether it will do so, though if it has an employment or other agreement with the employee on the subject, it must  honor it.

If you were fired for cause, you are not eligible for unemployment. Of course, if you file and your company does not state that you were fired for cause or contest your benefits, you may be able to receive them.


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