How to get my unpaid vacation pay

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to get my unpaid vacation pay

Last year I had 17 hours unused vacation time. I mentioned it to my employer and asked her to pay me gradually before the end of the year I was told not to tell her what to do so I left it up to her to take care of it. Well the end of the came and wasn’t paid for 17 hours. Then was told to wait until March to get compensated. I again addressed the concern to her but no answer so I call the mainland hr and was tolda different outcome. I was told I lost the vacation pay. What can I do now?

Asked on April 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, there is no right to a cash or monetary payment for your unused vacation time under the law.
You would only have a right to your vacation pay if there is one of the following:
1) A written employment contract between you and the employer guarantying you the pay;
2) A union agreement which you fall under guarantying you the pay; 
3) Your employer has FIRM (no limitations, caveats, etc.) and clear written policies under which you have bee working and which guaranty you the pay.
If any of 1) to 3) apply, you can get the pay when the written document says you can, and take legal action (e.g. a "breach of contract" lawsuit) for the money if you don't get it. But if none of 1) - 3) guaranty you the money, you have no right to the pay.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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