Managing Employee Vacations During the Holiday Season

Posted by Catherine Chukwueke | Nov 07, 2023

As we approach the holiday season, employees eagerly anticipate and make plans for their well-deserved vacations. For employers, this period calls for a thorough understanding of employment law pertaining to time off. Striking the right balance between accommodating employee vacations and meeting legal obligations is crucial to maintaining a productive and compliant work environment throughout the winter months.

Under California law, employers are not required to offer their employees paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if an employer has a policy in place to provide paid vacation, employees are entitled to the designated vacation time and must be compensated for any unused vacation days upon termination, unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise. It is important to note that vacation time cannot be forfeited, even if the employment relationship ends, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the termination.

In California, employers have the ability to establish policies regarding the accrual and eligibility of vacation time. Per California Labor Code § 227.3, earned vacation time is considered wages and is accrued as labor is performed. For instance, if an employee is entitled to two weeks (10 workdays) of vacation per year, they would have earned five days of vacation after six months of work.

Employers are also allowed to set a reasonable limit on vacation benefits, preventing employees from accumulating vacation time beyond a certain number of hours.

If you have any questions regarding your company's policies or need guidance on California employment law, contact the Law Office of Catherine Chukwueke and schedule a consultation. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of employment law with confidence.

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. 

About the Author

Catherine Chukwueke

Catherine (“Cathy”) Chukwueke is the Owner and Principal Attorney of the Law Office of Catherine Chukwueke, a law firm focusing on labor and employment matters and workplace investigations. Ms. Chukwueke is passionate about helping people who have been mistreated in the workplace.

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