Employee Vacation Rights

Many countries require that companies, public and private, give workers a certain number of vacation days each year. However, while the United States does not dictate this, the open market place means employees usually get some time off.

  1. Vacation Time

    • Vacation time is any time that an employee can take off work in advance--i.e. not a sick day. Vacation days can be paid, meaning the company will pay the employee his full salary even when he is on vacation, or they can be unpaid, meaning an employee can take a day off but will not be paid for it.

    Vacation in the U.S.

    • Most companies in the U.S. give full-time employees approximately two weeks of vacation time. However, there is no federal law requiring this, so technically workers do not have vacation rights if their employer does not grant them time off.

    State Laws

    • Some states, however, do grant workers vacation rights. If a company operates in a state that mandates workers get vacation time, employees can sue if they are denied time off.

    Changing Policy

    • Even if a state does not guarantee vacation time, a company that previously gave its employees time off cannot suddenly revoke it. By law, a company can only eliminate vacation time gradually, and give workers a time frame in which they can take the time off they were previously promised.

    Vacation and Discrimination

    • Once a company has a vacation time policy, it must administer it evenly. Discrimination in time off, such as giving workers of a certain gender or race more vacation, violates federal law even in states that do not have their own laws mandating vacation time. Workers who have had their rights violated in this manner can also sue.

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