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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.