Is it legal to give one employee vacation and not the other?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal to give one employee vacation and not the other?

I recently started my job as an analyst at an investment bank a couple of months
ago. I was told that I am not entitled to vacation until I’ve worked here for a
year – then I get 2 weeks. However, my coworker, who is also an analyst, is
taking a trip to Italy in a couple of weeks. He started working here two months
before I did. I spoke to another coworker who told me she didn’t get vacation
until after her first year.

Among other things, there is unequal treatment between the two of us. Is this

Asked on April 8, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. The fact is that an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes who to give vacation to and when. The fact is that vacation time (or PTO) is not legally mandated, therefore an employer has a grerat deal of say over when it is taken, etc. The exceptions to this would be if your treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (i.e. based on your race, religion, gender, disability, age, etc). Also, your employer's action cannot violate the terms of company policy or any applicable union agreement or employment contract.

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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