“I always use plain English, with no sugarcoating, no lawyer talk, no double talk. Just old fashioned, unsweetened, unvarnished truth. Just the way that I would want it.” California Vacation Pay Lawyer - Bill Turley
California Vacation Pay Lawyer - What if my employer hasn’t paid me my vacation pay?
Under California law there is no legal requirement that your employer provide you with either paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if your employer does have an established policy, practice, or agreement to provide paid vacation, then certain restrictions are placed on your employer as to how it fulfills its obligation to provide vacation pay.
Under California Vacation Pay Law, earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned, or vests, as labor is performed. For example, if you are entitled to two weeks (10 work days) of vacation per year, after six months of work you will have earned five days of vacation. Vacation pay accrues (adds up) as it is earned, and cannot be forfeited, even upon termination of your employment, regardless of the reason for the termination.
An employer can place a reasonable cap on vacation benefits that prevents an employee from earning vacation over a certain amount of hours.
When Does My Employer Have To Pay Me My Vacation Pay?
Unless otherwise stipulated by a collective bargaining agreement, upon termination of employment all earned and unused vacation must be paid you.
Vacation Pay and The Joy Of Math
Here is a quick example. I call this, “The Joy of Math.” Go with me here. Suppose you were fired from your (it is not much different if you quit - see below). At that time, your employer paid you the wages for all of the hours that you had worked (if you weren’t - call us, we can help you this also), but your were not paid for your 15 days of earned, accrued and unused vacation pay until 30 days later.
In this example, you earned $19 an hour and worked 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week.
You are entitled to the waiting time penalty in the amount of 30 days’ wages. Under California law, earned vacation time is considered wages; and unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement, whenever an employment relationship ends for any reason whatsoever and you have not used all of your earned and accrued vacation, your employer must pay you at your final rate of pay for all such earned, accrued and unused vacation.
In this situation, since your former employer was obligated to pay you all of your wages at the time you were discharged, including your 15 days of vacation wages, and did not do so, you are entitled to the waiting time penalty in the amount of 30 days wages, the number of days between the date you were discharged and the date you received all of your final wages, i.e., the 15 days vacation pay.
$19 x 8 = $152
$152 x 30 = $4,560
Thus, your employer owes you $4,560 in California Waiting Time Penalties.
If you quit and gave your employer more than 72 hours notice that you were quitting, then the calculations are the same. If you quit and gave less than 72 hours notice, than your employer owes you $4,104.
What If My Employer Still Hasn’t Paid My Vacation Time?
This happens all too frequently. If your employer still hasn’t paid your vacation time, then you are entitled to the vacation time, plus interest, plus attorney fees. Meaning, you don’t have to pay your attorney fees - your employer does.
What is in it for me if I am a Class Representative in a Class Action Lawsuit?
First, you will get your money back. This is huge.
Second, if you are a Class Representative in a successful California Wage and Hour Class Action you will usually get an enhancement. Meaning, you will get money to make all of this worthwhile. Different courts award different amounts for Class Representatives. It can be $2,500 or we have seen up to $20,000.
Third, you get the satisfaction of getting even, so to speak. Only meaning, it is always nice to get your money back from someone that has treated you unfairly under the law, so to speak.
Need Help Today?
Call us - we can help. (619) 234-2833
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley