Vacation Pay Accrued – Is It Paid to Me If I Resign?

Question: Are you entitled to collect accumulated vacation pay when you resign (assuming you provide proper notice)? I have several hundred hours saved, and was just curious.

Larry, Minneapolis, MN

Answer: State law governs “vacation pay” issues. Vacation pay is a benefit that employers don’t have to provide, although most employers do. When an employer does provide vacation pay, it is considered a kind of “wage” by most every state. The law in some states, like California, provides that vacation pay is earned on a day-by-day basis, and thus in all events – including resignation – must be paid to the employee. Unfortunately for Minnesota’s citizens, in November, 2007, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that in Minnesota a company’s policy on this issue governs its employees’ rights. The Court’s reasoning was this: company policy is a kind of “contract,” and whatever the employee and employer “agreed” to in that “contract” should govern. Thus, you have to look at your company’s Employee Handbook, Policy Manual or internal web site to find out your rights to earned vacation pay if you resign.

P.S.: When leaving employment – for any reason – ALWAYS ask to be paid for Accrued But Unused Vacation. Use our “Model Letter Requesting Payment for Accrued but Unused Vacation – with 12 Great Reasons.” It shows you “What to  Say and How to Say It.”™ To get your copy, just [click here.] Delivered by Email – Instantly!

Best, Al Sklover

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