Vacations Taken in Advance of Being Earned

My employer allows employees to take vacation time before they earn it. I took my 3-week vacation last month before I earned all of it. This month I quit and now my employer is deducting my vacation pay from my final paycheck. Is this legal?

No, this is illegal. Your employer cannot subtract “advanced” vacation from your final paycheck. Due to work schedules, employees will often take their vacation for the year, before it is actually earned. In California, vacation pay is a form of wages and an “advanced” vacation is like an advance on wages. So if an employee takes an advance on vacation and then quits, or is discharged, before the vacation is earned, it is an overpayment by the employer. In this situation, an employer cannot take the unearned vacation hours out of the employee’s final paycheck, although the employee was overpaid…
Jane took her 3-week vacation in February before it was earned because it was a convenient time for the company. In April, Jane quit. Her employer is threatening to take the amount of vacation time Jane used in February out of her final paycheck because her vacation was an “advanced” vacation. This is not legal. 
If you have a question about California vacation law or want to file a vacation wage claim, contact Strauss & Strauss APC now.

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