In California does an employer have to notify you of cancellation of scheduled vacation in any time frame.

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2009

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In California does an employer have to notify you of cancellation of scheduled vacation in any time frame.

I submitted my documentation to my manager a month prior to the vacation time as stated by the employers rules. I checked & at that time their where no other vacations scheduled & they had enough employees to cover all shifts. Since then we have been understaffed. They now want to deny my vacation because they had to deny another employee’s. This is 2 weeks before my vacation & I have already payed for plain tickets and hotel rooms which I can not get the money back from. Do i have any rights in this case & am i entitled to compensation for the lost money?

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If those rules about vacation are in writing, in a handbook or something like that, I think you need to take that to a lawyer.  There is a very small chance that the handbook can be used as a contract against the employer.

Otherwise, you are an employee "at will," without a written contract.  You can be fired for no reason at all, as long as something illegal like race or age discrimination, or retaliation for use of a legal right like filing a workers compensation claim, isn't involved.  You have no right, in that situation, to take your planned vacation, and you aren't going to get compensation for the lost money.

"At will" also means you're free to find yourself another job, and tell your company goodbye when you do, no matter what their staffing situation looks like at the time.

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