If I submitted my resignation but my employer is refusing to pay the vacation pay tht I am entitled to, what steps do I take?

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If I submitted my resignation but my employer is refusing to pay the vacation pay tht I am entitled to, what steps do I take?

I submitted my resignation with a 2 week notice. My employer said that they did not want me to stay and offered 4 more days of pay. I asked about my vacation pay (7 days). They said that they are not giving me that. Thr explanation given, “It’s generous for only working there a year”. The employee manual states, “Upon termination of employment you will be paid for days accrued through the last of the month you terminate employment”. I have accrued 10 days, but have already used 3 of them.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The primary issue is whether the manual is suffiently strong and clear as to form an employment contract (an "implied" contract). If it is, then you could enforce its terms as to payment of vacation days on termination of employment. However, most employment manuals do *not* form enforceable agreement; the reason is, most of them have language which limits or negates their enforceability, such as--

"Nothing in this manual constitutes a contract of employment"

"Notwithstanding anything in this manual, all employment is employment at will"

"Policies subject to change without notice" (or "at any time")

If the manual has any disclaimers like this, then it would most likely not create an enforceable contract. However, even if it does not, if you can show otherwise that the employer's demonstable practice was to pay vacation days out when someone only worked there a year or so--that is, you can show that they have either stated previously that they will pay employees in your situation or circumstances, or that they have in fact paid employees in similar circumstances--then you may be able to find an enforceable agreement from their course of conduct.

However, bear in mind that if you believe there is an enforceable agreement, but the employer will not pay, the only way to seek the money would be to sue them, which may or may not be worth it.


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