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Employment Law/vacation time


My employer has decided that they are again changing when my vacation time will be available to me.  It was, in the beginning, accured on my anniversary of hire, then 2 years ago, they changed it to the anniversary of that company's contract with the site I am working at, which caused me to stop accuring vacation time for about 3 months.  Now, on thursday, they told me that I will be unable to use any of my vacation time until January 1st.  
I work at a university which is closed for a month or so beginning the middle of December until the end of January so I am accustomed to use my paid vacation time during the break rather than file for unemployment.  Now I cannot use my vacation time that way.  Are they allowed to change the date whenever they feel like it?  How much prior notice are they required to give when they make these types of changes?
(I work in Pennsylvania)

Gary - Because paid time off is not required by either state or federal law, employers have a lot of latitude in the way they handle it.  The notice question is not addressed because there is no law requiring vacation time. Essentially, you must have enough notice to decide whether it is worth continuing in your job under the changed circumstances, which might be a pay period.  You have a contract with your employer, and it is subject to change with only minimal notice, as you are learning.  Take the unemployment for the time not covered by your vacation days.  Why do without the income?  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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