Should I sue for vacation pay not paid on time?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Should I sue for vacation pay not paid on time?

I am trying to determine whether or not I should sue my former employer for unpaid vacation pay in Louisiana. I was terminated from my employment on April 19, 2017, and they still have not paid me for my unused vacation pay. I sent a letter of demand via certified mail on May 20, 2017, giving them 5 business days from the receipt of the letter to pay me my wages. They sent me an email today May 25 saying they would disburse that to me on June 2. The law states that I could recover some additional wages for the time between sending the letter of demand and being disbursed the wages, however, I want to make sure it is worth my time and money before filing a suit for a relatively small amount.

Asked on May 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Vacation pay in your state is considered part of your wages, so the law regarding late payment of final wages should apply. Those wages are late if not paid by what would have been you next scheduled paydate, had you not been terminated. You could potentially get additional compensation of up to 1 day's pay for each day late the payment was, up to a maximum of 90 days pay. Given how inexpensive a small claims case is,  if you act as your own attorney ("pro se"), it would seem to be worth your while to file a small claims suit for the money, to both expedite its payment and to possibly get the additional compensation, too.

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