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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5749
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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The company I work in the process of being bought by another

Customer Question

The company I work for is in the process of being bought by another company, some employees have been offered jobs in the new company, I am not one of them. When I went to work for them 3 years ago, we verbally agreed with email backup that I could maintain some consulting work that I had started before being employed with them as long as it didnt interfere. I have a consulting client in Malaysia that also buys product from the company I work for that has paid for an airline ticket for me to come there to work with them and possibly work for them. I have 2 weeks of vacation and have offered to use it to go but they say they won't approve the use of my vacation to go pursue the opportunity because I cannot be out of country when the potential for the sales transaction executes.
Can they prevent me from using my vacation?
Can they keep me from getting my severance package if I go anyway?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.

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ANSWER: Under Texas law, the employer has great leeway in dictating, denying, and/or modifying vacation policies as spelled out in the employee handbook; but this is not true if it is spelled out in a written and binding contract. So, your employer can treat you less favorably in allocating vacation benefits for reasons such as job performance, the time of year the leave is requested, or even just whether your supervisor likes you or not.

The main exception to this is that your employer may not treat you less favorably in vacation benefits ti discriminate against you on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, disability, or in retaliation for exercising certain legal rights such as requesting workers compensation benefits or FMLA benefits.

If there is a severance package that is offer by company policy, then the employer must follow its policy. If it is part of your contract, then it must also abide by the contract or risk being sued for breach.