Glen Mills, PA asked in Employment Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Can my employer count my vacation eligibility time from post-pandemic-layoff rehire date rather than original hire date?

I began work Nov. 2019, and was "terminated" in March 2020 due to pandemic-related business downturn. I was rehired in June 2020, although I was not required to take a drug test again or submit my driving record again. I would have been eligible for paid vacation Nov. 2020, but now they say I'm not eligible until a year past my rehire date of June 2020.

A few facts:

1. The year-to-date info on my 2020 pay stubs includes the money I made BEFORE I was "terminated", indicating no break.

2. In Nov. 2020 I received a $1.00/hr raise, which normally comes at the 1-year point of employment. They're counting my raise time from Nov. 2019, but my vacation time from June 2020.

3. As previously mentioned, when re-hired I was not required to re-submit my driving record or re-take a drug test.

It seems to me they're trying to have it both ways. Thanks much, I look forward to your reply.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Well, if they give you a raise it looks like they are not having it both ways. Your vacation time is usually based on time accrued and does not count time off for personal days, family leave---or when you are laid off.

Year to date money means just that. If you were paid x dollars then thats the amount--it doesnt have to say "with a break for..............."

(now if they include salary for the time you were off and you didn't get that salary, that's a little different but the end correction isn't that you get that money.)

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson

A: The pandemic is frustrating and disruptive in many many ways, and this is just another. Be thankful that your employer gave you a raise at your one-year anniversary, rather than waiting for you to accrue twelve months with the company! Vacation time is usually based on time-accrued also, so you may need to read the fine print in your employee manual to see if you are eligible for vacation time one-year after your date of hire, or after twelve months with the company, which is different in this case. It may be worth asking your HR department what your official date of hire is. After this research, if you believe you are being treated unfairly, contact an employment lawyer to discuss the details of your case.

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