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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Work in Maryland. When hired, policy I signed said nothing

Customer Question

Work in Maryland. When hired, policy I signed said nothing about accrued leave other than it carried over. Policy changed with new hires 2 years ago. Because of workload and my skillset, I have 5 weeks of accrued leave, and 16 weeks of accrued comp time. Because of the workload and no pay increases I began looking for another job. Two months ago, the boss sent every employee a letter stating that the ability to use and accrue leave was suspended. This meant I could not take my accrued leave or any comp time. I figured the comp time was a lost cause. I have found a new job but now the boss says, I don't get paid for my accrued leave which I was prohibited from taking. So what should I do?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Unless an employer has an express policy denying payment for accrued leave upon separation of employment, they are required to pay it. The MD Dept. of Labor expressly so provides in its "Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards," which states: "where the employer does not have a written policy that limits the compensation for accrued leave to a terminated employee, that employee is entitled to the cash value of whatever unused earned vacation leave was left -- provided it was otherwise usable."

The only issue here would be that your employer had "suspended" the ability to earn or use accrued leave. This potentially creates an issue with the requirement that the time be "otherwise usable" in order to be compensable upon separation of employment. Still, I think a reasonable argument can certainly be made that payment is compulsory under the circumstances. The compensation can be pursued by filing a wage claim here.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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