If promised, vacation must be granted. Although no New Hampshire law requires private sector employers to provide employees with vacations, paid or unpaid, most employers do offer their employees some version of vacation. Thus, it is important for employers to remember that if they “promise” vacation, they may be legally bound to provide it--and that a binding promise does not require embodiment in a formal employment contract. New Hampshire courts have ruled that under some circumstances, an employer's assurance of paid vacation time, whether made in an employee handbook, given orally, or simply understood as a matter of consistent practice, may constitute an implied contract, which is binding and enforceable.
Notice. Employers must provide notice to all employees of employment practices and policies that have to do with vacation pay, sick leave, and other fringe benefits. Notice may be given in writing or through a posted notice maintained in a place accessible to all employees (NH Rev. Stat. Sec. 275:49).
Accrual method. Employers are free to devise their own system for vacation accrual--for example, on a monthly or pay-period basis, or upon completion of a 6-month or 12-month period. It is important to be clear and unambiguous when drafting such policies. Remember that any vagueness in the policy is likely to be construed against the employer.
Payment upon termination. If an employer provides paid vacation under a company policy or practice, New Hampshire law mandates that the employer pay employees for accrued, unused time. Vacation pay is included in wages due to an employee (NH Rev. Stat. Sec. 275:43). Employers must also provide employees in writing or through a posted notice its ...