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Vacation Time

Our pharmacist only wants one of her employees to have to use her vacation in a week block, but not the other employees. Doesn’t it have to be across the board?

Employers are not required to offer vacation time to employees under federal law. However, some states have adopted legislation requiring vacation time or applying guidelines to the administration of it. Absent state law or employment contracts, employers are free to establish a policy or practice of their choosing for vacation time including eligibility, accruals, request procedures, and approvals.

The application of vacation time policies may differ amongst employees for employment based classifications such as full time or part time, exempt or non-exempt, length of service, or job group. The criteria must be nondiscriminatory. Decisions cannot be based on protected characteristics such as race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age (if the employee is at least 40 years old), and citizenship status. If an employer chooses to offer vacation time or administer a vacation time policy differently to a select group of employees, the employer must consider if the criteria creates an adverse impact on protected groups or unintentional discrimination.

Requiring one employee to use her vacation time in a different manner may be acceptable if there is a legitimate business reason for doing so and the decision is not based on a protected characteristic. Though applying vacation requirements differently amongst employees may be legal, it’s not often recommended. Treating employees differently may lead to the perception of discrimination or unfair employment practices. Not only could this potentially lead to expensive litigation but it most likely will affect employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity, and turnover.


This entry was posted on Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 11:32 am and is filed under
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