Can I be forced to take vacation days instead of being paid overtime?

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Can I be forced to take vacation days instead of being paid overtime?

I am an hourly employee, non-exempt, in CO. Rather than being paid overtime, a manager is requiring that I take days off within the overtime work week. Is this legal?

Asked on August 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) If you earned any overtime, you must be paid it--that is the law (e.g. the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA).
2) Your employer may not require you to use your vacation.
3) However, the employer could suggest that you do take vacation, and if you don't, could tell you not to work for a day or two (you can only work when your employer lets you work, so this would be essentially an unpaid vacation, since you don't get paid when you do not work unless you use paid time off) to avoid you accumulating enough hours to get overtime. This is legal because (unless you have a written employment contract to the contrary) the employer, not employee, determines when the employee may work. The could also simply send you home earlier some days, again, to keep your hours in check.


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