What can I do if I was terminated and owed vacation?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I was terminated and owed vacation?

I was suddenly terminated from my job 4 months ago after 10 1/2 years. I later found out it was because I was non-functional in teaching a new girl that had been there 8 months and still was not comprehending. The owner refuses to pay me the 2 weeks vacation pay I earned as of 10 months ago. Does he owe me this? He says I was an

Asked on August 20, 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 most employment is "at will" which means that a business can set the terms of employment much as it sees fit. This includes whether or not to provide vacation time and/or whether or not to compensate an employee for such time upon their leaving the company. Accordingly, a worker only has a right to be paid for their accrued vacation time if there is a company policy (usually in the handbook), employment contract, or a union/collective bargaining agreement that says employees will be paid accrued vacation time when they leave. The only exception to this would be if a worker was not paid accrued vacation time upon termination when other employees were so paid, if not being paid was based on the individual's race, religion, age (over 40), disability or the like (i.e. legally actionable discrimnation).

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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