Is a employer required to pay earned vacation time if your position is terminated or department is eliminated?

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Is a employer required to pay earned vacation time if your position is terminated or department is eliminated?

Our company provides earned vacation pay.
Each full-time employee earns three hours
vacation pay per two week pay period. The
total amount of Acacian hours adds up
throughout the year not to exceed 80 hours in
one year. Recently our entire company was
laid off in our positions were eliminated. I have
over 60 hours of earned vacation time. And my
employer is refusing to pay it. Are they required
to pay me my earned vacation pay?

Asked on April 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state does not mandate the payout of vacation hours upon an employee's termination. That is unless there is a union agreement/employment contract that requires such pay or if it it has been company policy to do so (this can be written or based upon the way other employees have been treated). Otherwise, as an "at wll" worker, you company is free to set the conditions of your employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable idscrimination).

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state does not mandate the payout of vacation hours upon an employee's termination. That is unless there is a union agreement/employment contract that requires such pay or if it it has been company policy to do so (this can be written or based upon the way other employees have been treated). Otherwise, as an "at wll" worker, you company is free to set the conditions of your employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable idscrimination).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In your state, the employer must only pay vacation pay upon termination of employment if there was a written contract requiring them to do this, or at least a *firm* written policy from the employer, with no loopholes, caveats, or equivocations, that similarly required them to pay it. (I.e. a written policy so firm and definitive it essentially functioned as a contract.) Without this, they were under no obligation to pay out your vacation days.


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