Is it legal for an employer to revoke an already promised vacation time retroactively based on a new policy amendment?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for an employer to revoke an already promised vacation time retroactively based on a new policy amendment?

My girlfriend accrued vacation time based on the original vacation policy. That policy has been amended to say that employees who owe an outstanding loan-debt to the company cannot take their vacation time until said debt is paid. Is it legal for them to take away the vacation time she had already earned based on the new policy?

Asked on November 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that whether or not vacation time is provided is up to the business; it is not legally mandated. Accordingly, since it is a discretionary benefit, a company has a great deal of say over when, how and even if it can be used. Accordingly, unless this revocation violates the terms of a union agreement/employment contract or constitutes some form of legally disctimination, it is perfectly permissable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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