Is it legal to be denied a day of?

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Is it legal to be denied a day of?

I requested a day off more than a month
in advance. The human resources
director denied it because I do not
have enough accrued vacation time. I
thrn asked if I can take it as an
unpaid day and was told ‘that’s not how
it works’. I was told to wait until the
beginning of the month and resubmit my
request at which time I will have
enough vacation time, but if anyone
else requests that day in the meantime
I will not be approved. The reason for
the request is for a meeting at my
child’s school that I have rescheduled
3 times because of work, and yes I
wrote that on my request. I would just
call in that day, but the last time
someone did that after a day not being
approved, he was fired. What do I do?

Asked on October 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be denied time off legally. If you have no PTO available to you, then your employer can prohibit you from taking time off. The fact is that most employment arrangements are what is know as "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. That is unless a worker's treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination or violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. While unfortunate, your choices are to either accept the situation, complain and risk termination, or quit.


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