SCHEDULING VACATIONS IS NO VACATION « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Coordinating Employee Summer Time-Off Can Be an Exercise in Diplomacy

No California employer is obligated to provide paid vacation time to its workers.  However, such benefit is a common practice, promoting morale and productivity.  Once a company grants paid vacation (say, one week annually), it is considered an accruing benefit, i.e., an employee earns it gradually throughout the working year.  See, Vacation Pay in California, and Requiring Use of Paid Vacation for Unpaid Leaves.

While California employees are entitled to their vacations under such policies, business does not necessarily go on vacation during the prime months for such time off.  In order to ensure continued production and service to their publics, employers have the right to manage their vacation pay responsibilities, including control over scheduling and the number of vacation days a given worker may take at any particular time.

Manager thought and care are required.  For example, an employer may not deny vacation time to a worker simply because that person recently returned from a medical disability leave.  Such grounds – unrelated to business production demands — could constitute unlawful retaliation.  In the event management must deny a proposed vacation period or suggest alternative dates, written confirmation of the actual work-related reasons is a very good idea.

Thus companies need to specify the scheduling ground rules into any policy providing such benefits, including written requests well in advance of planned vacations and a clear statement that it is ultimately management’s prerogative when and how the company will schedule vacation time.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin for more information.

Cindy Bamforth, July 20, 2016