Is an employer required to pay accrued vacation time after an employee resigns?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is an employer required to pay accrued vacation time after an employee resigns?

I resigned from my job on good terms and had 64 hours of accrued vacation time remaining. Previously, the employer had paid employees for accrued vacation time after termination. However, there was nothing in our ‘handbook’ regarding my inquiry. My final pay stub still shows that I have the balance of PTO remaining.

Asked on February 1, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no general legal obligation in your state to pay out accrued vacation time on termination of employment. If there is a written employment contract or clear, unequivocal policy statement in writing, such as in an employee handbook, giving you the right to a pay out, your employer will have to pay you. But in the absence of written contract or policy statement, it is at the employer's discretion: they could choose to pay or not (including choosing to pay some employees, but not others).

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 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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