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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have been an employee of Paetec for the past ten years. Last

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I have been an employee of Paetec for the past ten years. Last month Paetec was bought by Windstream. Today my boss told our group that starting this year we must choose our vacation schedule before the end of this month. Senority will prevail in the selection process, but each employee will be able to choose only one week of vacation in the first round. Another week can be chosen in each subsequent round. The results are two fold; one, the company is limiting our time off from work to one week at a time. Sometimes it takes the first few days of vacation to destress from the work overload, so you can start enjoying your vacation. two, an employee could we unable to schedule consecutive weeks for an extended vacation, eg. two weeks off to visit family in Europe at Christmas time. Windstream is headquartered in So. Carolina. Can Windstream do that to the employees working under California labor laws? Thank you in advance for your answer.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

Although vacation days, once earned, cannot be forfeited by an employee, an employer still retains the right to dictate when vacation is used and in what amounts it can be taken. There is nothing illegal about that practice, provided an employer is not controlling use of vacation in such a way that amounts to discrimination against certain employees on the basis of their race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age (over 40), or sexual orientation.

Although your employer can dictate how vacation is used, it cannot take earned vacation days away from you. If your employment terminates, your employer must immediately pay you for all unused vacation days.

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