Howare sick pay, vacation and bonus determined when an employee leaves their job?

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Howare sick pay, vacation and bonus determined when an employee leaves their job?

I recently left a job, but was not paid for my vacation or sick pay, nor bonuses that I was entitled to. My contract states a certain amount of vacation and sick days per year, although there is no stipulation on how that is accruedand no policy indicating it would be lost if I left the job. The bonus structure was vaguely worded, but I have in writing an approximate amount per month. I was in an executive position, so the NY DOL will not enforce the issue. Can and how do I get my vacation pay? Bonus? Am I only entitled to the percentage of the full year I worked, or the full amount.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require the payment of sick or vacation days when leaving a job, or payment of bonuses. Companies don't need to provide then at all; and if they do provide these benefits, are entitled to set their own terms and conditions--including whether and to what extent they are paid out on termination (and whether voluntary and involuntary termination are treated the same). So the issue is 1) if you have any agreements, contracts, etc. with your former employer, what, if anything, did they say on the subject; and 2) if not, what is your company's demonstrated or documented policy on the subject--e.g. what have they done in the past when people left? Whatever the policy is, they generally have to follow it until they announce some change to it. You should consult with an employement attorney, therefore, to discuss what your rights might be in your unique circumstance.


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