Vacations laws & compensation compliance analysis

Vacations: What you need to know

There is no federal law that entitles private sector employees to paid or unpaid vacation; nonetheless, most employers do give employees time off for vacation, and employees generally consider this to be one of their most important benefits.
Though there is no federal vacation law, there is a steadily growing body of state law—an amalgam of statutes and court decisions—that controls how employers administer vacation time, including whether and how much employees must be paid at termination for accrued but unused vacation.
Employers must know the laws in their state(s) of operation in order to develop a comprehensive, compliant policy covering eligibility, accrual, carryover, forfeiture, administration, pay upon termination, and integration of vacation policy with other state laws—and to ensure strict compliance and consistency of administration.
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Accrual is simply the particular method by which vacation time is accumulated; employers may generally set vacation accrual methods however they wish.
For example, some organizations provide all vacation time in a lump sum at the beginning of the calendar year or upon an employee’s anniversary date. Others prefer to have vacation accrue steadily throughout the year—with hours of paid leave earned with each pay period. Some organizations require new employees to work a certain number of days before earning vacation time, while others may offer generous leave benefits immediately upon hire for an attractive sign-on incentive.
(Note: This guidance is specific to vacation time; time off that is to be used for illness may be subject to additional requirements under state and local law.) Additional information on sick leave requirements is ...

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Vacations Resources

Type Title
Forms Request for Days Off
Policies Vacation
White Papers Time off May Be the Biggest Benefit
See all Vacations Resources