If a company does not give you access to schedule days off, what is my recourse?

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If a company does not give you access to schedule days off, what is my recourse?

I have been asking for access to my time off for months but they keep telling me that they don’t have time to input me into the system. About 3 days ago, I sent a request to my HR department, yet no one from my HR department has contacted me. However, I know they have contacted my direct manager in regard to the matter. No one has called me or emailed me nothing. What can I do?

Asked on March 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can try contacting the state department of labor--it's not clear they can help, but the call is free, and if they can help, the assistance would be free, too. For any labor, work, etc. issue it's always worth starting with a call to the agency.
Assuming, however, that they can't help, your only recourse would be to sue your employer. The suit would be based on "breach of contract": violation of the agreement, even if only an oral or unwritten one, pursuant to which you worked in exchange for certain compensation, including vacation, etc. days. If they never let you take those days, they have effectively deprived you of their value. The problem is--besides the general costs, effort, etc. involved in suing anyone, and the impact on your relationship with your employer from suing them--is that since you are still employed there, unless the days have "expired" and they have taken some away (e.g. they were "use them or lose them" days), it's difficult to fix an economic value on the days--while you have not been able to take them yet, if you still have the days, you could theoretically still take them; thus, from a certain perspective, you have not yet lost anything. This type of suit works better when you leave employment, because then you can more easily show the value of the days you were deprived of, since you can no longer take them.


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