Not allowed to take a vacation?

Archived From: Finance
  • Go to page :
  • 1 23
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
A friend of mine (no really, it's not me...) works for a California company that provides vacation time accrual benefits but won't let him actually take a vacation. The company has multiple locations, and he has been denied his vacation requests at his location on multiple times, while employees at other locations (<50 miles away) of similar skill/category are allowed to take their vacations. He's CA exempt (e.g. full-time salaried, not hourly) if that matters.

Are there any CA state or federal laws that protect against this sort of thing? All I've been able to find searching thus far is that there are CA laws protecting accrued vacation (e.g. it can't expire if not taken by the end of the year) but nothing that either requires a company to let you take a vacation using time you've accrued or requires similar treatment between two closely spaced work locations.

Thanks!

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
You: I'd like to take my vacation in November 2013.
Boss: You're telling me too far in advance.
You: No problem. I'll just... (more)

swandown (Nov. 13, 2012 @ 2:20p) |

Tell your boss you have cramps and explosive diahrea because of all the stress of the job and spend 4 hours a day in the... (more)

delzy (Nov. 13, 2012 @ 3:38p) |

Did you have a union there with a special agreement in place?
If not, it really doesn't matter what the employee handbook... (more)

Buxsum (Nov. 14, 2012 @ 1:51a) |

  • Also categorized in:

What did his boss tell him?

dcwilbur said:   What did his boss tell him?

Essentially, something like, No, you can't take a vacation at that time...even though you gave us ample notice, we can't get coverage for you.

FWIW I don't know the exact dates he was asking for, but it didn't sound like they were near any major holidays, and he asked for the time off a few months in advance each time.

Maybe his boss can suggest some time when it's feasible to take time off?

I lost 1/2 my PTO pay when I left my CA company. apparently it was in the employee hand book

Before, he escalates or puts his boss on the defensive --- he needs to schedule a time with the boss when this situation will be discussed

This is am important issue for him that shouldn't be addressed by email or by the water cooler. A face to face meeting expressing his concerns needs to take place. Schedule a meeting.

Mike's suggestion seems like the simplest and most reasonable one. Just sidle up to the boss when he's not busy, and say "hey, I'd really like to take some of my vacation sometime in this window (give a 2-3 month period), can we work out what would be the best time to do that?" Unless the boss says no to any of that time, it hardly seems like something to get all bent out of shape about yet.

It's not unusual for businesses to deny vacation requests, especially if requested during busy times, etc. It is unusual to say that he can't take vacation at all.

Your "friend" eh? "Really no, it's not you" eh?

Why not just contact the California Department of Labor with this question?

Is he going to lose/not accumlate vacations anymore because of these denials? If so, then I would think something would protect against that. Depending on the job and the timing of vacations being requested sometimes they do get denied.

It doesn't really sound like your friend is appreciated and maybe they want him to quit.

By any chance does your friend's company have FIFTY employees?

dirtrat said:   Why not just contact the California Department of Labor with this question?

I assume you mean the CA Dept of Industrial Relations. I've read their FAQ and didn't see anything obvious for this situation.

From what I can tell, the company is dysfunctional in its decision making process and his direct day to day "boss" isn't the person making vacation decisions, rather it's a centralized corporate HR dept. Certainly he's trying the face to face discussion process, but its been slow. No, the company has more than 50 employees.

Back to OP's original question -- are there any laws that protect against this?

martint said:   A friend of mine (no really, it's not me...) works for a California company that provides vacation time accrual benefits but won't let him actually take a vacation. The company has multiple locations, and he has been denied his vacation requests at his location on multiple times, while employees at other locations (<50 miles away) of similar skill/category are allowed to take their vacations. He's CA exempt (e.g. full-time salaried, not hourly) if that matters.

Are there any CA state or federal laws that protect against this sort of thing? All I've been able to find searching thus far is that there are CA laws protecting accrued vacation (e.g. it can't expire if not taken by the end of the year) but nothing that either requires a company to let you take a vacation using time you've accrued or requires similar treatment between two closely spaced work locations.

Thanks!


I doubt that vacation time is mandated by employers in any state. However if a company offers you vacation time, they must allow you to take your vacation with reasonable accommodations as part of your pay package, but an auditor can't decide to take off the day of an audit? No way.

If the employer has agreed to give the employee vacation and then denies all request for vacation through the year, I would as others have said, first ask my boss when a good time to plan off is. He might not like the days that he gets, but again these are paid days for not working and are not required by law.

If that failed I would start to track each time I request, and when the rejection comes in. After 3-4 times I'd go and see a lawyer because vacation time is in your pay package and they are essentially robbing you of this time. Remember when you go down the lawyer road, you will need to 1)Find a new job, and 2) "Why did you leave your former employer? Can we contact your former employer?"

Remember you can always give just 2 weeks notice and get unlimited days off. I'm currently grateful to have a steady job in this economy.

Laws in CA are basically as follows:

If offered, Employer controls it. Meaning they can dictate completely when you can and cannot take vacation time...including never allowing you to use it for a day off. Perfectly legal, sorry.

Vacation time is considered part of the salary. It cannot expire. However, they must cap the accrual. What this means for your friend is that if they continue to deny all requests, he'll eventually reach that cap. Once reached, the employer must pay out some of that vacation time as salary so that the employee can continue to accrue vacation time.

So...the employer is doing nothing wrong. Your friend needs to talk to their boss and work with them to find a reasonable time that will work for both them and the company. If they can't do that...find a better job.

martint said:   

Back to OP's original question -- are there any laws that protect against this?
There's no law against bad boss.

shadow2k said:   Laws in CA are basically as follows:

If offered, Employer controls it. Meaning they can dictate completely when you can and cannot take vacation time...including never allowing you to use it for a day off. Perfectly legal, sorry.

Vacation time is considered part of the salary. It cannot expire. However, they must cap the accrual. What this means for your friend is that if they continue to deny all requests, he'll eventually reach that cap. Once reached, the employer must pay out some of that vacation time as salary so that the employee can continue to accrue vacation time.

So...the employer is doing nothing wrong. Your friend needs to talk to their boss and work with them to find a reasonable time that will work for both them and the company. If they can't do that...find a better job.


Nope. No need to take this lying down.

Start documenting. The requests he made, and the denials. The fact that every other employee (not just those in his identical job) routinely had their requests approved. The fact that he lost XX hours under the cap.

At the point he leaves the company, present the above in a polite letter to the HR dept head, the CEO, and the CA Dept of Industrial Relations, and express hope that something fair can be worked out.

This is a clear case of discrimination.

shadow2k said:   he'll eventually reach that cap. Once reached, the employer must pay out some of that vacation time as salary so that the employee can continue to accrue vacation time.Come again? The company must pay out when the cap is reached? My company does not allow me to sell or cash-in unused PTO. I get more PTO than I can use, so if there's really such a law that the company must pay it out, I want to take advantage of it.

Edited to add: I just did some research and this seems to be only a California law. I'm not in CA so I'm SOL.

StevenColorado said:   shadow2k said:   Laws in CA are basically as follows:

If offered, Employer controls it. Meaning they can dictate completely when you can and cannot take vacation time...including never allowing you to use it for a day off. Perfectly legal, sorry.

Vacation time is considered part of the salary. It cannot expire. However, they must cap the accrual. What this means for your friend is that if they continue to deny all requests, he'll eventually reach that cap. Once reached, the employer must pay out some of that vacation time as salary so that the employee can continue to accrue vacation time.

So...the employer is doing nothing wrong. Your friend needs to talk to their boss and work with them to find a reasonable time that will work for both them and the company. If they can't do that...find a better job.


Nope. No need to take this lying down.

Start documenting. The requests he made, and the denials. The fact that every other employee (not just those in his identical job) routinely had their requests approved. The fact that he lost XX hours under the cap.

At the point he leaves the company, present the above in a polite letter to the HR dept head, the CEO, and the CA Dept of Industrial Relations, and express hope that something fair can be worked out.

This is a clear case of discrimination.


I highly doubt that job location is a protected class. Companies are allowed to and in fact do discriminate as between employees all the time. The only question is whether they are doing so on an impermissible basis.

If HR ultimately is the one who grants/denies leave it may also be worth asking them when vacation time can be scheduled. They are likely more aware of whatever OP's friend is entitled to.

megatard said:   shadow2k said:   he'll eventually reach that cap. Once reached, the employer must pay out some of that vacation time as salary so that the employee can continue to accrue vacation time.Come again? The company must pay out when the cap is reached? My company does not allow me to sell or cash-in unused PTO. I get more PTO than I can use, so if there's really such a law that the company must pay it out, I want to take advantage of it.

Edited to add: I just did some research and this seems to be only a California law. I'm not in CA so I'm SOL.


I ran into the same situation. Instead of taking off large chunks of time I went to the Friday optional plan where I would just take Fridays off. Makes for nice 4 day work weeks.

maybe he can get pregnant

ubermichaelthomas said:   Your "friend" eh? "Really no, it's not you" eh?You're Canadian, eh?
Send me some maple syrup, eh?

StevenColorado said:   shadow2k said:   Laws in CA are basically as follows:

If offered, Employer controls it. Meaning they can dictate completely when you can and cannot take vacation time...including never allowing you to use it for a day off. Perfectly legal, sorry.

Vacation time is considered part of the salary. It cannot expire. However, they must cap the accrual. What this means for your friend is that if they continue to deny all requests, he'll eventually reach that cap. Once reached, the employer must pay out some of that vacation time as salary so that the employee can continue to accrue vacation time.

So...the employer is doing nothing wrong. Your friend needs to talk to their boss and work with them to find a reasonable time that will work for both them and the company. If they can't do that...find a better job.


Nope. No need to take this lying down.

Start documenting. The requests he made, and the denials. The fact that every other employee (not just those in his identical job) routinely had their requests approved. The fact that he lost XX hours under the cap.

At the point he leaves the company, present the above in a polite letter to the HR dept head, the CEO, and the CA Dept of Industrial Relations, and express hope that something fair can be worked out.

This is a clear case of discrimination.


Says the guy without a job. This is the problem with advice from the internet. You don't know the source.

If they claim that your friend is too valuable to take time off, then they aren't paying him/her enough. If his/her office it PTO based, they should not ask for the specific time they want off and plan on being sick for the entire week. Sure, you're probably going to need a doctors note to return to work, but hey, your back will be feeling better by then.

umcsom said:   

Says the guy without a job. This is the problem with advice from the internet. You don't know the source.


I've been working for three months now, and mentioned that in my last post in my thread about salary negotiations.

2stepsbehind said:   StevenColorado said:   

This is a clear case of discrimination.


I highly doubt that job location is a protected class. Companies are allowed to and in fact do discriminate as between employees all the time. The only question is whether they are doing so on an impermissible basis.

If HR ultimately is the one who grants/denies leave it may also be worth asking them when vacation time can be scheduled. They are likely more aware of whatever OP's friend is entitled to.


Discrimination is very apropos when referring to a protected class. However, applying company policies inconsistently to the detriment of one person is also considered discrimination, even when no protected classes are involved.

everybody gets denied vacation. You have to be smart when scheduling, maybe even a year out if it's a popular time. Remember, there are kids, teachers in families who can only go a few weeks a year.

I travel off-season, so never got denied.

Tell your friend to have a baby. Then he's guaranteed the ability to take 12 weeks of vacation over the next year.

martint said:   dcwilbur said:   What did his boss tell him?

Essentially, something like, No, you can't take a vacation at that time...even though you gave us ample notice, we can't get coverage for you.

FWIW I don't know the exact dates he was asking for, but it didn't sound like they were near any major holidays, and he asked for the time off a few months in advance each time.


If I was told that there was no one who can fill in my shoes for a few days - I would use it to help with my raise during my performance apprisal.

Lol good companies make employees take MANDATORY vacation time as it is a good Internal Control. He should play it from that angle...

It's 2012, i thought everyone booked vacation, travelled to their destination, then worked 4-6 hrs a day (before the rest of the family woke up or after they went to bed). We went from an environment with rigid backups and chain of command to cover a person being out, to one where there is only a single expert globally for any particular function, as a result when you go on vacation either everything waits until you return or you are guilted into working a certain number of hours a day to handle any urgent issues/requests.

I'm going to guess that there's nobody to cover for him so they can't schedule cover and hence always deny it.

LordKronos said:   Tell your friend to have a baby. Then he's guaranteed the ability to take 12 weeks of vacation over the next year.

I did jokingly mention FMLA to him. There are other provisions besides getting pregnant...

LordKronos said:   Tell your friend to have a baby. Then he's guaranteed the ability to take 12 weeks of vacation over the next year.

I did jokingly mention FMLA to him. There are other provisions besides getting pregnant...

cheapdad00 said:   It's 2012, i thought everyone booked vacation, travelled to their destination, then worked 4-6 hrs a day (before the rest of the family woke up or after they went to bed). We went from an environment with rigid backups and chain of command to cover a person being out, to one where there is only a single expert globally for any particular function, as a result when you go on vacation either everything waits until you return or you are guilted into working a certain number of hours a day to handle any urgent issues/requests.

I refuse to work on vacation. Yes, some things pile up and/or wait for me, but my family is way more important than my job. It helps that I am not easy to replace.

Veeekay said:   martint said:   dcwilbur said:   What did his boss tell him?

Essentially, something like, No, you can't take a vacation at that time...even though you gave us ample notice, we can't get coverage for you.

FWIW I don't know the exact dates he was asking for, but it didn't sound like they were near any major holidays, and he asked for the time off a few months in advance each time.


If I was told that there was no one who can fill in my shoes for a few days - I would use it to help with my raise during my performance apprisal.


Interesting advice, I'll mention that to him...he does have an annual review soon...

vipercon said:   cheapdad00 said:   It's 2012, i thought everyone booked vacation, travelled to their destination, then worked 4-6 hrs a day (before the rest of the family woke up or after they went to bed). We went from an environment with rigid backups and chain of command to cover a person being out, to one where there is only a single expert globally for any particular function, as a result when you go on vacation either everything waits until you return or you are guilted into working a certain number of hours a day to handle any urgent issues/requests.

I refuse to work on vacation. Yes, some things pile up and/or wait for me, but my family is way more important than my job. It helps that I am not easy to replace.


If you mean, "I refuse to work on vacation because it can wait until I get back" then I agree. I, however, am almost irreplaceable so when I vacation, there are times where the company will lose $150k/hour if I can't be available...and if I took the "refuse to work" attitude I'm sure I wouldn't last long.

cheapdad00 said:   It's 2012, i thought everyone booked vacation, travelled to their destination, then worked 4-6 hrs a day (before the rest of the family woke up or after they went to bed). We went from an environment with rigid backups and chain of command to cover a person being out, to one where there is only a single expert globally for any particular function, as a result when you go on vacation either everything waits until you return or you are guilted into working a certain number of hours a day to handle any urgent issues/requests.

Yes, and if your job is anything like mine, a significant "crisis" will occur in the midst of your vacation requiring your undivided attention and rendering your whole trip a miserable failure. My future solution is to book trips to remote locations that have no cell phone reception or wi-fi (i.e., National Parks like Yellowstone, unless things have changed).

ubermichaelthomas said:   Your "friend" eh? "Really no, it's not you" eh?

Triple B is back! The ass hat of FWF

Skipping 57 Messages...
vickh said:   I lost 1/2 my PTO pay when I left my CA company. apparently it was in the employee hand book
Did you have a union there with a special agreement in place?
If not, it really doesn't matter what the employee handbook said.
see #10



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014