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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
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My questions is regarding whether I am legally eligible for

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My questions is regarding whether I am legally eligible for payment of accrued vacation. I have worked for this company 8 years 9 mos. of which I've taken minimal vacation due to the fact that I am the only one in my department. My job had weekly deadlines and without anyone capable to meeting those deadlines I have accrued vacation of 150+ hours. The policy in affect is 1-5 years = 2 weeks, 5-10 years = 3 weeks. Things became unbearable on the job and separated my employment 5/13/13 without notice. The hours accrued are not printed on our checks but tracked by the HR person.

Thank you, Marilyn
Good morning and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear that you recently separated from your employment.

Arizona law does not require employers to offer paid vacation days and so affords employers a great deal of discretion with regard to how and when such days may be used and what happens to accrued days upon separation of employment.

Contrary to the law in certain other states such as California, where accreid vacation days are regarded as a "wage earned" and must be paid upon separation of employment, Arizona law provides that accrued vacation days need only be paid upon separation of employment if the employer has "a policy or a practice of making such payments." A.R.S. § 23-350(5).

So, the answer to your question depends on the particular facts. Does your employer generally pay out vacation days when an employee quits or is fired? Do you have an employmee handbook or contract which dictates that such days much be paid? If you answer yes to either of these questions, your employer has an obligation to pay your accrued vacation. However, if you answer no, ARS 23-3509(5) would permit your employer to deny payment of for these days.

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.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
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