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Patrick, Esq.
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An employee has a contract with a 2 week notice for termination

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An employee has a contract with a 2 week notice for termination clause. They have accrued 4 days of vacation time.

This employee has requested a 7 business day vacation period spanning two weekends (Friday to Monday, 10 calendar days). This vacation schedule has been previously approved as 4 vacation days and 3 unpaid days off.

If the employee is terminated Thursday prior to their vacation start, does the employer owe 2 weeks + 4 days vacation pay, or just 2 weeks pay?
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to assist you.

CA law treats accrued vacation as a "wage earned," and as such zelaously prohibits the forfeiture of such time. Employee must be allowed to either take their vacation or be "cashed out" for their accrued days.

Most likely the courts would conclude that an employee is entitled to their vacation in ADDITION to the two week's wages because to permit otherwise (i.e. to count the vacation days as being taken during the two week notice period) would negate either the two week notice period or the vacation.

Sure, you could make the argument that vacation was "taken" during the notice period, thus entitling the employee to less "notice pay," but I think that would invite litigation, not to mention it's not a strong argument to begin with.

Considering that the failure to pay accrued vacation may give rise to costly penalties, it's most likely best to play things safe and pay them for both.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

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