Does Your Former Employer Have To Pay You For Unused Vacation?

On behalf of Melehy & Associates LLC posted in wage & hour laws on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

Does your former employer have to pay for unused vacation?

In this blog post, we will examine:

  • D.C.’s and Maryland’s requirement that an employer pay for unused vacation or unused paid time off (“PTO”) after an employee leaves the company;
  • How employers try to avoid paying employees for unused PTO or vacation; and
  • What you can do about it.

What the law says

If you are thinking about leaving your place of employment (or have already left), you are probably wondering if you will be paid for your unused PTO or vacation time.

In D.C. and Maryland, the law requires employers to pay for unused PTO or vacation when the employee leaves. Failure to do so can result in enhanced damages.

There is an exception to the law, however. Employers do not have to pay for time off if the employer has a written policy that states that it does not pay for unused leave.

How employers try to avoid paying

Some employers know the law, yet intentionally try to avoid paying people for the paid time off they’ve earned but had no opportunity to use. Other employers do not know any better.

But an employer’s intent or level of knowledge does not matter — the law in D.C. and Maryland says employers must pay for unused PTO or vacation time, unless there’s a policy in place to the contrary.

What can you do?

Laws that apply to wages and benefits can be difficult to understand. If you think you are owed money for unused vacation time, contact a lawyer who has experience in this area of employment law.

*This information on this blog is not nor is it intended be legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice regarding your particular situation.

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