If I submitted my resignation but my employer is refusing to pay the vacation pay tht I am entitled to, what steps do I take?

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If I submitted my resignation but my employer is refusing to pay the vacation pay tht I am entitled to, what steps do I take?

I submitted my resignation with a 2 week notice. My employer said that they did not want me to stay and offered 4 more days of pay. I asked about my vacation pay (7 days). They said that they are not giving me that. Thr explanation given, “It’s generous for only working there a year”. The employee manual states, “Upon termination of employment you will be paid for days accrued through the last of the month you terminate employment”. I have accrued 10 days, but have already used 3 of them.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The primary issue is whether the manual is suffiently strong and clear as to form an employment contract (an "implied" contract). If it is, then you could enforce its terms as to payment of vacation days on termination of employment. However, most employment manuals do *not* form enforceable agreement; the reason is, most of them have language which limits or negates their enforceability, such as--

"Nothing in this manual constitutes a contract of employment"

"Notwithstanding anything in this manual, all employment is employment at will"

"Policies subject to change without notice" (or "at any time")

If the manual has any disclaimers like this, then it would most likely not create an enforceable contract. However, even if it does not, if you can show otherwise that the employer's demonstable practice was to pay vacation days out when someone only worked there a year or so--that is, you can show that they have either stated previously that they will pay employees in your situation or circumstances, or that they have in fact paid employees in similar circumstances--then you may be able to find an enforceable agreement from their course of conduct.

However, bear in mind that if you believe there is an enforceable agreement, but the employer will not pay, the only way to seek the money would be to sue them, which may or may not be worth it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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