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Washington Vacations: What you need to know

In most states, private sector employers are not required to provide vacation, whether paid or unpaid, to employees. Therefore, employers have significant discretion in developing vacation and personal leave policies that best fit the needs of their workplace and employees.
If promised, vacation must be granted. Nonetheless, it is important for employers to understand that, if their practices, policies, or statements rise to the level of creating a “promise” of vacation, then the employer may create a binding legal obligation to provide vacation—even when state law would not otherwise require it to do so.
Payout of vacation at termination. This caution also applies to obligations to pay out accrued, but unused, vacation time at termination of employment.
Even where state law does not specifically require employers to pay out accrued vacation upon termination, a consistent practice, written policy, or contract promising such payment may create an enforceable legal obligation to do so.
In such circumstances, earned vacation will generally be treated as wages pursuant to state wage payment and collection laws.
For additional information on final wage payments, please see the Paychecks topical analysis.
Clear policy language will control. Therefore, when state law does not expressly require employers to provide vacation or to pay out accrued vacation upon termination, employers should assume that their established policy will control.
For this reason, employers must ensure that vacation accrual, caps, and payout terms are set forth clearly and unambiguously in a written policy available to all covered employees. If there is any ambiguity in the policy, it will likely be interpreted in favor of the employee.

>> Read more about Vacations

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State Requirements

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Washington Vacations Resources

TypeTitle
Forms Request for Days Off
Policies Vacation
White Papers Time off May Be the Biggest Benefit

Vacations Products

Solving PTO Problems Webinar Recording
Solving PTO Problems: How to Reduce Unscheduled Absences Without Alienating Employees or Violating the Law"
Perfecting Your PTO Policy Recording
BLR Webinar: "Perfecting Your PTO Policy: How to Curb Abuse, Cut Absenteeism, and Comply with the Law""
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Claim Your Free Copy of Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As

We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
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This report, "Top 100 FLSA Q&As", is designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA overtime regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for bringing your workplace into compliance in an affordable manner.

At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave


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