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Summer Vacation? - Know Your Paid Vacation Rights

Now that the summer is in full swing, vacation is a topic that is near and dear to all of us. Unfortunately for some, an employer in California is not legally required to provide its employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time. Fortunately, many employers do provide paid vacation benefits to their employees. Once an employer establishes a policy or practice of providing paid vacation benefits, there are various safeguards in place under California law to preserve and protect this precious resource.

Earned vacation is considered to be a form of wages, which is earned as labor is performed. As a result, the employee’s entitlement to vacation benefits begins to accrue immediately, as long as the employee has completed any probationary period established by the employer. While vacation time accrues as it is earned, there is no similar forfeiture requirement. In fact, earned vacation cannot be forfeited, period. (Suastez v. Plastic Dress Up (1982) 31 Cal.3d 774.)

Often employers institute a paid vacation policy whereby the employees are paid a flat-rate for each vacation day taken, such as $75 per day. It is this practice that employees need to be aware of as they head off into vacation bliss. Since vacation benefits accrue just like wages, the employee is entitled to be paid at his or her regular hourly rate for each vacation hour taken. (Labor Code § 227.3.) This amount often far exceeds the flat-rate actually paid by the employer, resulting in a significant loss of wages to the employee.

Similarly, upon an employee’s termination, California law requires that all accrued but unused vacation time, must be paid by the employer at same hourly rate the employee was earning upon termination. Next time you take a vacation day, check your wage statement to make sure your vacation time is being paid correctly.

If you think you are owed wages resulting from an incorrect vacation benefit payment, please Call (888) 959-8508, or email an experienced Employment Law Attorney at Fernandez & Lauby LLP to discuss your case. An Employment Law attorney will also conduct a free evaluation of your wage statements if you are unsure whether a violation exists.

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News & Features

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--- Wednesday, June 29, 2016 ---

We just released a new page detailing critical wage information for California truck drivers.

--- Thursday, June 9, 2016 ---

Check out a new short article by Fernandez & Lauby regarding paid vacation benefits.

--- Thursday, November 12, 2015 ---

One of our employment attorneys discusses the details of missed meal breaks in her recent article, Hunger Pain Blues. Explore the legal details, penalties, and required extra pay regarding missed meal breaks in California.

--- Wednesday, November 11, 2015 ---

Trial Victory -- Fernandez & Lauby attorney, Brian Mankin recently prevailed at trial on an employee's individual unpaid wage claim in San Bernardino County Superior Court. The employee claimed that he was required to work more than 8 hours per day and/or 40 hours per week, but was only paid for 40 hours per week. He also claimed that he was given inaccurate wage statements. The employer claimed that it did not owe any additional wages. Mankin filed a lawsuit for failure to pay minimum wages and overtime wages, as well as failure to provide breaks and accurate wage statements. Following trial, the court awarded the employee his unpaid wages, interest and various penalties, plus the employer was required to pay approximately $60,000 in attorneys fees and costs to Fernandez & Lauby. If you were denied wages, misclassified, not given all required breaks or have any other concerns about your pay or working conditions, feel free to call, or email, the employment law team at Fernandez & Lauby for a free consultation. Most unpaid wage cases are handled by the firm on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay unless you win.

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