Unpaid Wages for Unused Vacation Days: What Are My Legal Rights?
When you leave a job, it’s important that you receive your final paycheck and ensure all loose ends are taken care of. Sometimes the final payment you receive can have issues. Reduced wages, non-payment, and other issues can result in disputes on your way out the door. This is particularly true of unused sick days and vacation time, which companies may have strict policies about.
The Lewisville, TX employment law attorneys at our firm would like to consider payment for unused vacation time. Whether your company has a rollover policy for vacation time or a use-it-or-lose-it policy, a skilled lawyer can help you receive the rightful compensation you have earned.
Texas State Law on Vacation Pay
The state of Texas has laws regarding payment of vacation time as an employee as well as upon termination. The basics are as follows:
- Paid vacation is not required by Texas state law, but many companies offer it to employees
- If a company offers paid vacation, it must comply with the language of an employment agreement
- Upon termination, if a company offers paid overtime, it must abide by the language of the employment agreement regarding payouts to departing employees
The Amount of Unused Vacation Time Can Add Up
Issues over the payment of unused vacation time can be contentious because of the amount of money that an employee may be due. If the vacation time can carry over from year to year, an employee may have accrued a substantial amount of overtime pay that must be paid out upon termination or leaving the position.
Disputes Over Unpaid Vacation
Given the amounts owed, some companies may try to deny payment of this vacation time to their employees, or attempt to reduce the amount paid. This could be in direct violation of their paid vacation policies.
Use It Or Lose It Vacation Policies
In addition to issues about vacation time, there is also the matter of use-it-or-lose-it vacation time. For some companies, vacation time does not roll over into the next year, or may expire after a certain amount of time. In these cases, employees must use that vacation time or the time off and pay is forfeited.
Disputes in these cases may arise regarding the timeframes in which the vacation time is used, and how much of the accrued vacation time is still within that timeframe. Again, the language of the employment contract will determine whether or not a company is attempting to shirk their obligation to an employee.
Parsing the Language of Hiring Agreements/Contracts
If you have a legitimate claim to unpaid vacation wages, it’s worthwhile to pursue a legal action against your former employer so you can be paid the money you are owed for the vacation time you have accrued.
It’s important that you obtain a copy of your employment contract. A employment lawyer can help examine the language of the agreement to note any ambiguities or violations of the agreement as written. Attorneys will have strong knowledge of state and federal laws that most people will not possess, and this will be crucial in reading through the contract.
Contact an Experienced Wage Law Attorney
For more information about your legal rights and protections after being denied rightful wages, be sure to contact an experienced workplace and wages attorney. The team at the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson is here to help you in your time of legal need.