HR Q & A: Can We Make Employees Use Their Accumulated Vacation Hours?

By June 7, 2017Blog

PayVision Online’s HR Answer Center Has The Answer


PayVision Online HR Answer Center

Imagine an entire HR department at your fingertips, 24 x 7, with a myriad of resources, news articles, documents and tools to help your business succeed.  One of the tools we especially like is the HR Snapshot which is delivered to your in-box with answers to FAQ. Here is a recent one on asking about employees and vacation time, the answer may surprise you! Most employee time-off, including vacation days will affect your payroll processing, but with integrated HCM solutions your reporting is seamless.

Question: Can an employer legally make their employees use their accumulated vacation hours?

Answer: You might be surprised with this one, the answer is YES.

An employer can tell an employee that they need to take time off. However, that rarely bodes well for the morale of the employee if they don’t want to take the time off.

Some employers have a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy where any remaining vacation time is lost if unused by a certain date. But these kinds of policies are not legal in all states. If your state doesn’t allow use-it-or-lose-it, or the employee isn’t willing or able to take off as much time as you would like, you could instead pay them for the hours they’re unable to use. This option is acceptable in every state and reduces the potential for low morale.

If you’d prefer that employees use up the time, it’s best to give them at least three months’ notice (even more is better) so they can plan for what they’ll do with their free time and coordinate with friends and family.

Be sure that you’re applying these policies and practices consistently across the organization. And if you’re introducing a new standard like use-it-or-lose-it, or payout on December 31st, make sure that employees are made aware of the policy in writing.

HR Professionals To Help You

Contact us at 214-442-5888 to learn more about payroll and our integrated HCM. Our payroll specialists will be happy to help you. We can also share with you the benefits of our HR Answer Center, and quickly connect you with the pros to answer any questions you may have in determining appropriate inquiries for interviewing that will keep you from unnecessary exposure.

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