If we don’t offer vacation benefits to anyone in the company but pay a former employee, does that set a precedent for us to pay other employees vacation benefits?

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If we don’t offer vacation benefits to anyone in the company but pay a former employee, does that set a precedent for us to pay other employees vacation benefits?

We are a new company (1 year old). We had only 1 employee that we discussed vacation benefits with. He has left the company and wants us to pay him vacation pay. Vacation benefits has never been offered or discussed with any other employee.

Asked on December 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, giving vacation benefits to just 1 former employee does not set precedent for all other employees (if numerous employees were grnted such time tht might be different).

The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly, as long as there exists no legally actionable discrimination, an employment/union agreement to the contrary or company policy provides otherwise.

Additionally, in at will employment, an employer may set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit; this includes whether or not to provide vacation time. In other words, such a benefit is purley discretionary on an employers part.

At this point, you should contact an employment law attorney in your area who can more fully inform you of your rights/responsibilites under specific state law.


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