Calling on Hr/payroll Mamas

Updated on August 25, 2011
J.C. asks from Chicago, IL
11 answers

My question is about accrued vacation time being paid out when someone leaves a job. My husband quit his job for a new one and we are not having good luck dealing with his former employer regarding his final pay, insurance benefits, etc. They are not communicating, except for yelling (these people believe they are overlords rather than employers), so we are trying to tie up loose ends the best we can. So, my husband worked for them for 8 months, basically the shortest job he ever had. Vacation pay begins to accrue from the date of hire, and earns a paid week off after one year. Now, my husband knows he did not work a year and earn the full vacation pay, but is he entitled to what accrued over the 8 months he worked there? Would they pay him a prorated or percentage amount? It seems as though the money accrued is based on past wages, so it did accrue for 8 months. Does he have a claim or not? I tried looking online for some guidance, but did not find what I was looking for, since he did not complete one year of work. I know there is a difference in earning the time off, as in he would not be entitled to go in and ask for a paid week off, but what about the portion of the year that accrued so far? So far they haven't even paid him for his last two weeks of work and are giving him the runaround regarding other issues, so he will get nowhere if he calls the former employer and tries to ask. Employment was at-will if that makes any difference, so no contracts were broken by him quitting. Any advice is appreciated!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all the info and advice. It is very helpful! He did not actually ask the employer about the accrued vacation because he wasn't sure he was entitled to it. He's always been paid for that when leaving a job, but he never left a job so soon and was unsure of how that worked. It's been hard enough just to get the paycheck! This was just the most horrid place to work, so I am really glad he is out of there and is in a fantastic job now. I will be so happy when we can wash our hands of this other place though. Thank you all, you are very smart mamas (and papas)!

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

Unless his New Hire Package SPECIFICALLY states they will pay out accrued vacation - they do NOT have to pay it at all...there is NO law that states accrued vacation time must be paid out upon termination of employment.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

It depends on what the company policy is regarding vacation payout. For example, our employees accrue vacation from day one, but aren't eligible to take or be paid out for it until after 1 full year of employment. The company sets the policies regarding vacation benefits so there is no law regarding this. The only requirement is that they treat all employees the same.

Also, you might check the labor laws in your state regarding how long after termination they have to pay your final paycheck. I know if Texas we are required to pay final wages within 7 days of the last day or work or the next regularly scheduled pay period, whichever comes first. They may be in violation for not paying him his earnings promptly.

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answers from New York on

Most jobs do not pay out for accrued vacation time unless it's a union type of job and the benefits is specifically noted. So I would review any paperwork to see if there's any information about payment of accrued vacation time.

As far as not being paid for his last 2 weeks of work, I'd take that up with the state department of labor.

When it comes to health insurance benefits your coverage ended on the last day he worked. Under the guidelines for HIPPA your husband's company has 30 days to get him information on the benefits and costs of carrying benefits under cobra coverage. Cobra will cost 100% of the benefit plus an additional 2% admistrative cost. If your hubby's company paid toward his benefits they no longer have to.

Once you receive that paperwork you have 30 days to make your decission. If you decide to take cobra coverage then you have to pay for coverage from the last day he worked forward.

If you have other insurance available under a new job then you can not take cobra coverage however the prior insurance company will sent you a letter outlining the amount of time you've had coverage. Keep that letter. If you need to submit it to a new carrier make a copy and send it. Never send the origional.

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answers from Redding on

In my experience you dont get that vacation until remaining on the job for the entire year. He breached by leaving at 8 mos, so NO, no vacation time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

In Texas, there is the pay day law. If an employee is terminated, we have 6 days to get their final check to them. If the employee quits, I can wait until the next pay period. I have to pay wages!

Vacation - if it states in the company policy that it is accured but you have to be there a year then no they don't have to pay because he didn't work a year. Doesn't matter what he had in, he did not meet the requirements which would be the one year.

Insurance - we pay in a month in advance. So if I were to leave my job now, I would not have insurance for September. However, if I left September 1, I would have insurance that whole month of September. That is how our plan is written. I would receive my COBRA information at the end of the month.

Sounds like with them not paying the wages owed, they are violating the Fair Standard Labor Act. Contact the DOL (Dept. of Labor) and inquire as to how you file a complaint. Employers hate FSLA

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If what you said is what they have written, "Vacation pay begins to accrue from the date of hire, and earns a paid week off after one year." He accrues, but it is not EARNED until after one year. So it isn't earned and not due him.

I would not have even asked for the vacation pay.

I hope he enjoys the the new job.

Good luck to you and yours.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Seems you have gotten varying advice. Most likely because laws vary from state to state. Try calling the labor board in your state. Be prepared to show them any and all paperwork that he was given, including any written policies. The company may or may not have to pay out accrued time depending on both company policy and state law. They DO however have to pay him for the work he has done. The labor board will also be able to tell you the state laws regarding how long they have to do that, and in many cases will assist in getting it paid also.

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answers from New York on

It all depends on how it's worded in the company's policy. If the policy states "earns a paid week off after one year", that would mean he would not be entitled to any vacation pay until after he had worked there for one full year.

You indicate that the vacation was accrued. What was the accrual rate?

Also, does the policy state that an employee can be paid for any unused vacation time?

Based on the information you have provided, he is NOT entitled to any vacation pay.

As far as not being paid for the last two weeks he worked and health benefits
1. Stop calling them. Communicate only in writing, send e-mails or certified letters.
2. Health insurance - by law they need to offer you COBRA.
3. You need to contact the IL Dept of Labor. When you contact them you eed to have the following information available, name of company and Federal and State ID #'s (you can find it on his W2), what was his last day worked, hourly/salary and rate of pay, on what date should he have received his final pay, what steps have you made to obtain payment from the employer (who you talked to, dates, times, etc).

Personally, I would send a certified letter to the former employer, stating you expect payment or an explanation for non-payment, and the application for COBRA benefits within 10 days. After that time, I would contact the DOL.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I do HR in California and one thing I do know is that when someone quits, gets fired, whatever, at least in my experience, we have their final check ready within 24 hours. If they get terminated, their check is ready for them upon notice. If they quit, we get their stuff in order IMMEDIATELY. Believe it or not, we've had people quit who don't even show up for their paychecks so we have documentation of the day the check was drawn and mail the check by certified mail that has to be signed for.
Final paychecks are nothing to goof around about.
That said, I don't think your husband is entitled to vacation pay as he didn't stay on the job for one year.
You get hired on July 1, your vacation begins to accrue and the next year on July 1, you are entitled to a week's paid vacation. Or, the money if you don't take the time off.
If he had been there for at least a year, that would have been different. But he wasn't.
I would talk to the labor board in your state and concentrate on just getting his final check.
You don't say how long it's been.
You may be better off dealing with them in writing so you have documentation of things.
As far as insurance, if the new employer offers it, all you need is the I.D. number and that can be transferred to the new policy.
If you are talking about COBRA, they have so many days to legally inform you of that too if they are bound by COBRA laws.
I would concentrate on those things as opposed to the vacation pay.
He wasn't there long enough to accrue any.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I disagree with Cheryl. If it is earned time off or PTO then he is entitled to the pay. Like you said not the entire week since he did not work an entire year, but a pro rated amount of time. From what I figured he would earn .096 vacation time each week. So if you take that times the 8 months he should be entitled to 3.07 days of pay (if he worked 32 weeks).

With that being said different states have different laws. His best bet would be to contact an employment attorney and ask them. You could also call the Attorney General's office and they maybe able to help out.

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answers from St. Louis on

First vacation is an employer given benefit it is not protected by law so if they don't want to give it to him they do not have to.

Second any payouts depend on the policy of each employer. We allow our employees access to all ETO on Jan 1 but if you quit before you actually earn it we will take it back. If you do not work a full year we do not consider any ETO earned and will take any that was taken back.

Basically what I am saying is there is no protection out there for vacation or personal time, it is employer discretion unless you had a contract.

3 moms found this helpful
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