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Attorney2020, Lawyer.
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  I have significant experience in employment law.
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A person was off by the company after 5 and half years of

Customer Question

A person was laid off by the company after 5 and half years of service with the company. The company has just recently changed the employee handbook stating that the vacation is no longer payable when the employee leaves the company. However, the employee was in the accounting function and doesn't have enough free time to take the accumulated vacation at the time of the laid off (because of the job tasks required at month-end or the beginning of the month as well as daily task). Does it mean that the employee is not entitled to any of the vacation benefit? Does the state labor law has any type of protection for unused vacation at the time of laid off (without any notices)? Thank you for providing answers to help understand the situation.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Attorney2020 replied 1 year ago.

Georgia Vacations: What you need to know

If Vacation Is Promised, It Must Be Granted

Although no Georgia law requires private sector employers to provide employees with vacations, paid or unpaid, most employers do offer their employees some version of vacation. Thus, it is important for employers to remember that if they “promise” vacation, they may be legally bound to provide it--and that a binding promise does not require embodiment in a formal employment contract. Georgia courts have ruled that, under some circumstances, an employer's assurance of paid vacation time, whether made in an employee handbook or given orally, or simply understood as a matter of consistent practice, may constitute an implied contract, which is binding and enforceable.

When Vacation Pay Is Due at Termination

Whether an employer pays an employee for accrued, unused vacation time at the time of termination is strictly a matter of company policy. Pro rata payment of vacation pay is not required unless the employer has promised to do so under company policy. (Refer to Superior Insurance Co.v. Browne, 395 S.E.2d 611 (Ga. Ct. App. 1990).)

Accrual Method

Employers are free to devise their own system for vacation accrual. There are several different commonly used options:

• On a monthly basis

• On a pay-period basis

• Upon completion of a 6-month or 12-month period

If the policy is intended to ensure that employees work the entire accrual period to earn their vacation days, it should state clearly that employees will not be entitled to pro rata payment if they leave partway through the period. Remember that any vagueness in the policy is likely to be construed against the employer.

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