Can an employer force an employee to use a vacation day due to bad weather?

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Can an employer force an employee to use a vacation day due to bad weather?

During a blizzrd, UPS cancelled operations at our facility. Although I am on salary, myself and the rest of the part-time supervisors, were advised today that in order to be paid for the day, we would have to use a vacation day or 1of our paid discretionary days. We only received texted from our full time manager on Tuesday evening that the operation was cancelled and not to report until Thursday. Can they force us to use vacation time to get paid even though we are on salary?

Asked on February 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it can.  The reason is that vacation time or PTO is not something that an employee is automatically entitled to. Genrally there are no relevant  federal/state laws which govern.  An employer, at its own discretion, determines whether or not to provide such time.  Accordingly, employees do not have the right to use any unused time whenever or as they please.  Consequently, an employer may deny a request for vacation time or it may approve it; additionally it can mandate when such time be taken.  Unless there is a union/employment contract or a company policy to the contrary, or this is a case of workplace discrimination.


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