Q: Does changing from 2 weeks paid vacation to unlimited vacation relieve employers of paying unused vacation on terminatio
In Oct, I signed an employment agreement that included 2 weeks vacation. In January, the company updated an internal wiki that there was "unlimited vacation" (required approval). I was not provided written notice as stipulated in my employment agreement, nor did I consent to the change. On termination I had 10 days pro-rated vacation time earned, not paid. The employers attorney is claiming that 1)Because the employment agreement said I would be paid pursuant to the company policy, and 2) the policy changed to unlimited days of (with prior approval) I have no claim to unrealized but earned vacation at termination. I was a CA resident when I signed the employment agreement and when I was terminated.
An employer has the unfettered right to change employee benefits at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. There is nothing unlawful about your employer changing its vacation benefit. However, the change cannot take away any already accrued vacation time. If it does so, it must compensate you for the loss of that accrued time.
Good luck to you.
Brad S Kane agrees with this answer
A: Once the vacation is accrued, it cannot be taken away by a policy change. You should be entitled to payment of your accrued 10 days of vacation upon termination. However, if you use 10 days under the new policy before you leave, you are likely not entitled to compensation for unused vacation.
A: Under California law, a change from a fixed vacation policy to an unlimited vacation policy may not relieve an employer of its obligation to pay earned but unused vacation upon termination. The key factor is whether the employment agreement explicitly allows such changes without notice and consent. If your agreement did not contain language permitting unilateral changes to the vacation policy, you may have a valid claim for the unpaid, pro-rated vacation time earned at the time of termination. Consult with an attorney to evaluate the specifics of your case and pursue your rights accordingly.
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