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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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We are an employer based in Massachusetts with 4 employees

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We are an employer based in Massachusetts with 4 employees in California. Our personel manual generally states that one can only carry over 80 hours of vacation each year and they lose what they didn't use. It appears however that California has a law that states that employers cannot impose a 'use it or lose it' policy for paid vacation for their CA employees. Does this law pertain to all employers even those with less than 50 employees?

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.


I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.


Unfortunately, the law pertains to all employers with employees in California, regardless of the number of employees the employer has.


Vacation days are considered to be 'wages' in California, and as such, it is illegal for an employer to eliminate wages that have already been earned, in this case vacation days that have become vested.


You would need to implement a separate policy in California to change it from a use it or lose it policy. However, you can place a cap on vacation hours in California. For instance, you could cap vacation hours at 80 hours and not allow employees to accrue additional hours of vacation until they use the 80 hours. This is different from allowing them to accrue more than that and then eliminating additional accrued hours.


I hope the above information is helpful.


Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!


Thanks and best of luck!

Joseph and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you