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John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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My employer recently me off after 15 years. I have over

Customer Question

My employer recently laid me off after 15 years. I have over 5 weeks of unused vacation that I feel should be paid out however they are stating Nevada does not require this. What about vacation earned in a state that does require it?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
It's correct that Nevada law does not itself require payment of accrued vacation upon termination. However, that's half the story. Vacation policies are essentially contracts. If a Nevada employer has a written policy that employees are entitled to vacation pay upon termination, an employee may be able to take the employer to small claims court and collect. It’s going to be more difficult if the employer doesn’t have such a policy in writing, but if the employer has paid other workers in similar circumstances then it may be an implied contract that employees get their accrued time off at termination.Various states do enforce accrued vacation regardless of contract -California: Under Cal. Labor Code §227.3, all accrued vacation must be paid when employment ends. California also prohibits policies that make employees take vacation by a certain date or lose it.Illinois: Under 820 ILCS 115/5; 56 Ill. Adm. Code 300.520, employers have to pay out accrued vacation pay at the end of employment unless a collective bargaining agreement with a union provides otherwise. While they can have a policy saying employees have to use vacation time by a certain date or lose it, employers must permit employees a reasonable opportunity to take those vacation days before they're gone. 56 Ill. Adm. Code 300.520(e).Indiana: While employers can have a use-it-or-lose-it policy in Indiana, employers have to pay out accrued vacation if their vacation policy is silent on the issue. See Indiana Heart Associates, P.C. v. Bahamonde, 714 N.E.2d 309 (Ind. App. 1999); Die &Mold, Inc. v. Western, 448 N.E.2d 44 (Ind. App. 1983).Louisiana: Vacation pay is earned wages, so policies requiring the forfeiture of earned vacation pay are not enforceable. Beard v. Summit Institute, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. 1998).Maryland: Like Indiana and Louisiana, while employers can implement policies, if the policy is silent on the issue vacation must be paid out at the end of employment.Massachusetts: Employers have to pay out accrued vacation pay at the end of employment. While they can have a policy saying employees have to use vacation time by a certain date or lose it, employers must permit employees a reasonable opportunity to take those vacation days before they're gone. MA Atty. Gen. Advisory 99/1.Michigan: Similar to Indiana, Louisiana and Maryland, while employers can implement policies, if the policy is silent on the issue vacation must be paid out at the end of employment. Montana: In Montana, an employer can't take away earned vacation pay or fail to pay it out for any reason. MT Dept. of Labor and Industry FAQ; See Langager v. Crazy Creek Products, Inc., 287 Mont. 445; 954 P.2d 1169 (Mt. Sup. Ct. 1998).Nebraska: Nebraska law prohibits employers from failing to pay out earned vacation or from policies saying employees must use vacation by a certain date or lose it. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1229(4); Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management, Inc., 272 Neb. 434, 722 N.W.2d 499 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 2006); Neb. Dept. of Labor FAQ.New York: If the policy is silent on the issue vacation must be paid out at the end of employment.North Carolina: If the policy is silent on the issue, vacation must be paid out at the end of employment. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-25.12.North Dakota: Employers can't require an employee to forfeit accrued or earned vacation leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. ND Admin. Code § 46-02-07-02(12). However, they can implement policies saying vacation must be used by a certain date or be lost.Ohio: While use-it-or-lose-it policies are allowed, vacation must be paid out at the end of employment if the policy is silent on the matter. See Fridrich v. Seuffert Construction Co., 2006 Ohio 1076 (OH App. 2006).Oregon: Oregon is another state that allows such policies but requires employers to pay out vacation if the policy is silent on the issue.Rhode Island: Employers must pay employees who have completed at least one year of service for any vacation pay accrued in accordance with company policy or contract on the next regular payday for the employee when they leave. RI Stat. § 28-14-4(b).West Virginia: If the policy is silent on the matter, vacation has to be paid out at the end of employment. See Meadows v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 207 W. Va. 203, 530 S.E.2d 676 (WV Sup. Ct. 1999). Otherwise, employers are allowed to implement such policies.Wyoming: In Wyoming, an employer cannot require an employee to forfeit accrued or earned vacation on leaving. WY Dept. of Employment FAQs.