Is it legal for my job to make me pay back vaca hours after i quit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for my job to make me pay back vaca hours after i quit?

I recently quit my job. At the
beginning of the year I had 55.23 of
accrued vacation hours. As of the date
that I quit working, I still had around
14 hours left. My office manager not
only took the 14 but deducted money
from my last check and marked it as
‘Baca payback’. On my paycheck stubs
the hours are marked as ACCRUED VACA

Asked on April 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) An employer does not have to pay you out for unused vacation hours (the 14 hours you had left) on termination of employment (including quiting), unless and only if you had a written employment contract requiring them to pay the unused time.
2) However, they cannot charge an employee money for "vaca payback" unless the employee had not yet accrued the  vacation he or she took, but rather was advanced (basically "loaned") the hours or days against future accrual, which he/she will now be able able to earn out due to the termination of employment. In this case, since the time was loaned, the employees can be made to repay that loan. But if all the hours used had been accrued, the employer may not charge the employee for them; and if the employer did, the employee could file a wage complaint with the state department of labor or sue the employer (e.g. in small claims court) for the money.

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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