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The NY labor
law states employers must “notify . . . employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer’s policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours.” See: N.Y. Labor Law § 195, 195(5).
In New York State, “An employee’s entitlement to receive payment for accrued, unused paid time off upon termination
of employment is governed by the terms of the employer’s publicized policy.” Kolesnikow v. Hudson Valley Hosp. Ctr.
, 622 F. Supp.2d 98, 120 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). If your employer has no written policy on what an employee is entitled to upon termination of employment, then the courts would look to their pattern and practice and if they have paid employees in the past then you too would be entitled to that vacation time.
Unfortunately, while in most states you could file a complaint with the State Department of Labor, NY Department of Labor refuses to handle investigations of this type, which means if you want to obtain your money, which you have a legal right to based on your description above, you have to sue the employer for breach of contract
and failure to pay wages
(unused vacation is considered wages upon termination depending on the employer's policy to pay them as stated above).
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