Hello again and thank you for the additional information. Well, unfortunately, you are ultimately going to have to go to HR to not only clarify the leave policy but also file a complaint if you are being denied vacation leave that you have accrued. Your employer cannot lawfully take an adverse employment action against you for asserting your rights under their policies. That would violate the covenant of good faith and fair dealing that Arizona employment agreements are controlled by.
That said, I can't say what your employer's policies say or don't say about what qualifies for vacation leave, what rights you have to take it when you want it, and whether there is a budgetary constraint on taking it. Each employer can set their own policies and procedures for taking leave. That is because neither Arizona law nor Federal law requires that an employer even offer any fringe benefits
, including paid time off.
But, the employer must follow their own policies and procedures, and if you are not paid for your time off and there is no restriction on your use of you vacation leave, then you could file a wage
claim with the State or file a small claims court action for the wages you are owed.
I have to say that something doesn't sound quite right with what your boss is telling you. Generally speaking vacation leave is a benefit that you earn and the company's budget doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you have a right to be paid for your time off. So, I am guessing that this is a violation of policy and I would strongly urge you to speak to HR and then go to a wage claim if you are not satisfied with their response.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.