We offer 1 personal holiday off and 2 floating holidays per year. The personal holiday must be used 1 per year and the 2 floating must be used 2 times per year (1 every 6 months from hire date). Is it legal to have “terms” on these extra paid days off or is it something entitled to the employee and cannot have an expiration date? California is the state..
In California, once an employee has earned paid time off of any sort, the employee cannot be deprived of that time without payment. You can limit when the employee can use a personal holiday or a floating holiday. For example, you can require that these days be scheduled at a mutually convenient time, and even specify that no more than one floating holiday can be used every 6 months.
Generally the employees are entitled to these paid days off (once awarded) and they cannot have an expiration date. There is one exception: you can pay the employees for the holidays on the expiration date. Suppose employee Sue uses only one of her two floating holidays with your company in 2010. Under your company policy, the one remaining floating holiday expires on Dec. 31, 2010. This is completely legal — as long as you pay Sue for the unused holiday on Dec. 31, 2010. Or, you can allow her to carry it over into 2011. However, it would be illegal for the holiday to expire and Sue to not be paid for it, in California.
This answer applies only to employees who work in California. In most other states, this would be entirely legal.
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