For what reason can my employer deny me a discretionary day off?

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2010

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For what reason can my employer deny me a discretionary day off?

My employer gives us 2 discretionary days off. Actually, for what reasons can they not deny me the discretionary day off? Would something such as religion, stress, etc. be such a reason?

Asked on October 8, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A discretionary day is just that--discretionary. An employer may deny it for any reason. (Indeed, as a general matter, employers can decide when employees may take vacation, personal, etc. days.)

The only limitations are:

1) Contractual--if there's an agreement setting out when and why you can take the days, that agreement must be honored.

2) Discrimination--since employees can't discriminate on certain bases under the law (e.g. race, religion, age over 40, sex, disability), if the employer is denying leave to someone based on those protected categories or reasons, there may be a job discrimiantion claim. Note that doesn't mean, for example, that an employer can't deny leave to a woman--just that it can't be denied *because* she's a woman.

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