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Vacation Pay Wage Claims

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As we officially kick off the summer season today, many of us begin to think about taking some vacation time for relaxation and travel. The state of California has some very specific rules to be followed regarding the handling of employees' paid vacation time to avoid wage claims. 

Employers are not required by law to provide paid vacation time, but those that offer it must be certain to handle it according to law and to their written policies, so as to avoid wage claims. Most importantly, remember that accrued vacation time is treated as wages - once it is earned by an employee, it can't be taken away. Employers cannot utilize a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy, whereby accrued vacation pay is taken away from the employee if not used by a specific date.

Employers are wise to avoid allowing employees to use paid vacation time that has not yet accrued. If an employee is given an "advance" on unearned vacation time, and then quits shortly after the vacation, the employer is barred from deducting that advanced vacation pay from the employee's final paycheck.

Finally, remember that when an employee resigns or is discharged, the employer is obligated to pay all of his or her accrued and unused vacation pay with the final paycheck.

Contact Freeland Law APC for a free 30-minute consultation with Michael Freeland, experienced employment lawyer serving San Diego, California. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.