Can my employer cancel my vaction 4 days just before I planned on taking it?

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Can my employer cancel my vaction 4 days just before I planned on taking it?

My employer called me into an office and put me on probation due to not finishing my work. I have been working 60 hour weeks and have been unable to complete my work. They then informed me I cannot take my planned vacation next week and it cannot be carried it over into next year. They also gave me a hard time when I used vacation in the summer. It is hard to schedule all my vacation time so I normally take the last week of the year off.

Asked on December 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your employer cannot prevent you from taking a pre-approved vacation wherein you have already incurred the vacation time. If you have been working 60 hour weeks and unable to complete your work, you either need additional help, the work is not meant to be completed in this time period, or this is not the position for you. I would inform them that trying to prevent you from taking a pre-approved vacation is unethical and illegal and you will be taking it. Make sure you keep in print hard copy format all of your requests and approvals. Then contact your state's labor department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to explain what is happening and see if those entities are willing to help you. Also consider talking to a private labor lawyer and see if you may need legal intervention. Your employer may be able to fire you at will but cannot do so by being discriminatory or in retaliation for possible litigatin. Consider your options including new work possibilities and tread softly.


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