Can an employer force anemployee to use their vacation time?

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Can an employer force anemployee to use their vacation time?

If you work for an electrical company and the company doesn’t have enough work for you to get your 40 hours in a week. Can your employer force you to use your vacation to make up those hours, even though they don’t have the work for you?

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If it was the company policy that they have the right to tell you when to take vacation, either generally or to make up an hourly shortfall, they could do this--companies are not required by law to provide paid vacaton, and may set terms and conditions on it, if they do.

If that was not the company's policy previously, they would seem to not be able to do it now, though they could make it a policy going forward. However, they are also not required to provide you 40 hours of work, unless you have a contract or union agreement requiring them to do so. Thus, if they don't have enough work, they could simply give  you less hours, which would presumably result in less pay and could affect eligibility for certain benefits. It may therefore be in your interest to use your vacation time.

If you do have any contracts/collective bargaining agreements, check what they say about vacation, hours, etc.


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