Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. There is a legal obligation, unfortunately, for employers to keep wage
and hour records stored for up to 3 years after employment. In cases in which the employer fails to keep these records, and where there is a dispute
over the number of hours, the employee may make his best estimate of hours worked to prove a claim - it would then be up to the employer disprove the employee's allegations.
In this matter, not only did the employer not keep the proper records but has no basis to challenge the employee's allegations of time worked/vacation accrued. You could offer him a settlement amount, however, I see no reason why he'd accept it, and then you risk him bringing a claim with the state for the past due amount. In short, I just do not see any leverage on behalf of the employer; maybe he'd settle just to avoid the time and hassle of filing a charge; it may be worth it to simply attempt a settlement then pay him the full amount if he balks at settling.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.