I have a question above paid vacation

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I have a question above paid vacation

Annually I get 3 weeks vacation and if I dont
use my vacation time before my anniversary
date I lose it of that year and my new vacation
time of the next year kicks in automatically. I
requested my week vacation that I had left a
week before my anniversary date and it was
approved by my boss then when it was time for
me to take my vacation my boss asked me if I
can work that week I agreed as long as I still
would get paid. When I got paid that week I
was missing the 40 hrs from my pay check my
new vacation time kicked in and they told me
that I lost the vacation time. Do they have to
pay me for that vacation time of 40 hrs lost?

Asked on December 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you already had approved vacation and were about to go, so you did not have to stay at work, and your boss agreed to pay you for the vacation if you stayed and worked, then yes--you should be paid. There was a contract (even if only an oral, or unwritten, one) between you and the company, made by your boss: you agreed to give up something of value (vacation time) and do something else of value (work) in exchange for additional compensation (being paid for the vacation days given up); your boss agreed to those terms; you fulfilled your end (you gave up your vacation and worked); therefore, the employer has to fulfill its terms and  pay you.
Bear in mind that if they won't pay, you'd have to sue  your employer--always a drastic thing to do, and one that can affect your future there. And winning is not guaranteed--no court case ever is (never believe an attorney who tells you the outcome is certain), especially if you don't have written proof if the agreement. Without written proof, if the boss denies your version of events, it will come down to your word vs. his, and because you would be the one suing (the "plaintiff"), the "burden of proof" is one you, putting you at a disadvantage: if you and the boss are equally credible, you lose--you have to be clearly more credible than him to win. Think carefully about whether to do this.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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