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Ohio Vacations: What you need to know

If promised, vacation must be granted. Although no Ohio 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. Ohio courts have ruled that under some circumstances, an employer's assurance of paid vacation time, whether made in an employee handbook or given orally, or simply understood as a matter of consistent practice, may constitute an implied contract, which is binding and enforceable.
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Vacation pay due at termination? When an employee leaves the job, payment for vacation time will depend entirely upon what the employer has promised. Ohio courts have ruled that in order to be compensated for earned vacation time at termination, an employee must earn the time exactly according to the employer's vacation accrual policy. For example, if the policy says: “Vacation time will be accrued from anniversary to anniversary date,” the employee must complete the anniversary year and be working on the anniversary date in order to be eligible for vacation pay at termination (Momchilov v. Astro , Metallurgical Corp., No. 2856 (1994)).
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 in drafting such policies. If the policy is intended to ensure that employees work the entire accrual period to earn their vacation days, it should ...

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