Can my employer require me to surrender my vacation time for a mandatory company shut-down, the day before a holiday?

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Can my employer require me to surrender my vacation time for a mandatory company shut-down, the day before a holiday?

My employer’s main branch is based in another state from the branch that I work out of. The company has already subtracted 3 of my vacation days (2 weeks were granted to me immediately at the beginning of the year) for holidays at the end of the year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years). Basically, my question is, would it be considered legal for them to have docked these vacation days (and so far in advance) for days that the company is requiring a mandatory shut-down of the branch? For example, the Friday before Christmas Eve?

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal:

1) The law does not require employees to be given paid holidays, or paid days before holidays or for plant shutdowns.

2) Employers are not required to even give employees vacation days at all; and if they give them, may put conditions on their use, including that they be used when the office or plant is closed.

The bright side is that you will be paid for the day, when the employer otherwise would not have to pay you while it's shut down.

Note that if you have an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, that would be a different story--follow its terms in regard to vacation days, shutdowns, and holidays.


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