Is it legal for a company with only 2 months notice to require staff to use vacation time for a company shutdown over the holidays?

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Is it legal for a company with only 2 months notice to require staff to use vacation time for a company shutdown over the holidays?

Also, then if the employee has no vacation time left for the year, is it legal to not pay them for the days off?

Asked on November 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Employees mistakenly believe that vacation time (PTO) is theirs to take or not, as they choose; they view such time as a mandatory benefit of employment. However, there is no law requiring that this time be given to employees. The fact is that it is up to the discretion of an employer. Accordingly, since this is a voluntary benefit, an employer can tell you when and how much to take; they can even refuse to let you take it all (unless you have an employment contract, union agreement or other term of your employment that provides otherwise). Bottom line, in an at will employment relationship, absent actionable discrimination or retaliation, a company can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit.


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