What are my rights as an employee to vacation time that was verbally agreed to in a job offer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights as an employee to vacation time that was verbally agreed to in a job offer?

I recently changed jobs. In my final interview for my new position, I informed the interviewer the VP of the company that I already had 2 vacations planned and paid for this year, 1 this month for 4 days and the other in 3 months for 7 days. The VP verbally agreed to let me take those days with pay without counting toward my vacation time. He said this was a special exception because the salary for the new position was not very much of an increase from my previous position. On Friday I returned to the office from my 4 day vacation and the president of the company pulled me into her office. She told me they will not be paying me for this vacation I had taken, nor would they be paying me for the vacation in August that was verbally agreed to in my job offer. She then told me that because I had planned to take these vacations while under my previous employer that I had already been paid for this time via the unused accrued vacation that was paid out from my previous employer. On Monday the president of my company wants me to present my final paystub from my previous position detailing the unused accrued vacation I was paid by my previous employer. I feel I am being taken advantage of, and I am not sure that my current employer has any legal right to view my pay stubs from my previous employer to use against me.

Asked on May 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless the ability to take these vacations for pay was contained in a written employment contract, your employer has the ability to change its mind and refuse to give you these days paid; oral (that is the better term than "verbal") promises do not limit  an employer's ability under "employment at will" (the law of the land) to change an employee's compensation or benefits at will--including going back on promised additional compensation or benefits. Only a written employment contract can limit the employer's rights and give you enforceable rights (i.e. give you the ability to sue for the compensation if not provided it). 
And as for their request for your prior paystub: your employer sets terms, conditions, etc. of work in the absence of a written employment contract. If they request this and you refuse to provide it, they could legally terminate you. 

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