California Employment Law
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While a bit unfair, this is legal. The reason is because employers have no obligation to offer any paid vacation time at all. Since the law does not require employers to offer paid vacation, the law allows employers to determine how and when such time can be used. Provided the employee is paid for their vacation time and it is not simply forfeited, a policy in which vacation must be used before sick time is legal, even if such policy prevents the employee from actually taking vacations.
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