Is it legal if my employer has been taking my personal/vacation days without my knowledge and without me signing and approving this time?

UPDATED: May 20, 2012

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Is it legal if my employer has been taking my personal/vacation days without my knowledge and without me signing and approving this time?

I am a salaried employee and we sometimes have “slow days” at work, therefore I do not report to the jobsite or office. Since I am on salary I still receive the same amount of pay, however, my employer has been taking my personal/vacation days to equal my pay to the selected salary amount. I do not believe this is correct at all, I also didn’t believe those personal/vacation days could be taken without my written consent.

Asked on May 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless your employer has specifically allowed you to not report to work when it is slow, you may *not* take it on yourself to not show up at work. If you have been not showing up without authority or approval to do so, those are unauthorized absences, and your employer could either not pay you for those days (while a salaried employee cannot be docked pay for missing a part day, it is legal for an employer to not pay him or her when he or she misses an entire day at a time) or could treat your absence as use of your PTO (e.g. vacation or personal days)--in this latter case, the employer does not need your written consent to use or take your days, since by not showing up to work, you used them. So if you have not had approval to not report to the jobsite or office on a slow day--that is, approval that you could not show but yet still be paid--what your employer is doing appears to be legal.

However, if you did have employer approval to not show when it was slow but receive your full  salary, then what your employer is doing is illegal; you could potentially sue your employer to recover the days or their value in pay.

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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