Vacation pay from a job I just left

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Vacation pay from a job I just left

I recently left a job that gives employees an additional week of vacation in July
to use in the 2nd half of the calendar year.

I left the job on June 14, but the company claims that I will not be paid any
portion of this vacation pay, simply because I was not employed by them as of
July 1.

I feel that this vacation is an accrued benefit and as such, I should receive the
pay for the portion of the week that I had accrued up to the date of my

Who is right?

Asked on June 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The company is right. Employers have considerable discretion in how vacation is accrued. They can have days or weeks at a time accrue at discrete times (e.g. on July 1) in lump sums, rather than having it accrue in smooth fractional increments for each week of work. So it is legal to have the additional week only be available for employees who are employed as of July 1, and since this was their known policy, you had notice of it and can be held to it. 

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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