What are my rights to accrued vacation from my ex-employer?

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What are my rights to accrued vacation from my ex-employer?

I left a job after about 14 months of employment. The contract said that I would accrue 1 week (5 days) of paid vacation after 1 year of employment (no mention of days or hours worked). Now I am asking about getting paid for the unused vacation time and they told me that I didn’t work enough days to receive the benefit. If it matters all the days I worked were 12 hour days, so my total worked time for the year would be over 2000 hours. I was working offshore on oil rigs and there were long periods of time with no jobs. I never turned down a chance to work). Can they have these hidden conditions to the contract? If I went to small claims court would I have a chance to win?

Asked on February 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, employers do not have to pay out accrued but unused vacation on termination of employment in your state--you are not entitled to your unpaid vacation when you leave employment unless and only if you had a written employment contract guarantying you this payment when your employment ends. If you such a contract, you could enforce it in a court of law; but without a written employment contract giving you the right to be paid for unused vacation time, you have no such right.


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