Employment Law/vacation pay


QUESTION: I plan on retiring soon and will tell my employer at the end of my workday. I have 14 paid vacation days coming, will I get paid for those days if I do not give a 2 week notice?

Also there was a posting by our time clock stating we can not punch more then 10 minutes before our shift. If we did punch in within that 10 minutes we are only paid from shift start time and not the extra time we punched in, is that legal?

(ends up about 50 minutes per week or about 40 hours over a course of a year…having worked there over 5 years it all adds up)


ANSWER: Wisconsin's statutory definition of wages includes vacation pay under most circumstances. Thus, if paid vacation is provided or promised, an employee who leaves the payroll must be paid for accrued but unused time. An employee who is not paid under those circumstances may file a complaint with the Department of Workforce Development and bring a court action as well. On the other hand, if there are special criteria attaching to pay on termination, a departing employee is not automatically entitled to receive accrued vacation pay. For example, if the employer has established a clearly written vacation policy providing that vacation pay is not earned until an employee's anniversary date of employment and it is distributed to all employees, it will not be paid if the employee doesn't reach this date.

Accrual method. Employers are free to devise their own system for vacation accrual--for example, on a monthly or pay-period basis, or upon completion of a 6-month or 12-month period. It is important to be clear and unambiguous when drafting such policies. ...

Be sure the you have put in the time required by the company to earn the vacation pay and you should be paid it upon termination.

Time can be rounded to the nearest 10 minutes or the nearest 15 minutes. If you check in before than you should be paid the overtime that occurs. You must have the records to prove that you worked the extra time and was not paid for it.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes I understand I need to be eligible for the vacation time...which i am having worked over 5 yrs there and have asked for an account of unused vacation owed.

I also know time can be rounded off to nearest quarter hour or 10 minutes....what is happening is we punch in at 0754 (plus 6 mins) and our paycheck only shows a start time of 0800...tho the sign says we can punch in up to 10 minutes ahead.

Since day one I have recorded all my weekly time cards which show a various of anywhere from 36 - 54 minutes a week over a 5 yr period. I am not the only one who has questioned this, as it has become a standard joke at work...not getting paid all minutes

thanks tom

If it is rounding to the nearest 15 minutes, than 7:54 will round to 8:00. If you punch in at 7:53 it should round to 7:45. This is referred to in HR terms as the 7 minute rule. Six minutes will round down...7 minutes should round up although some have it set at 8 minutes. It is hard because half of 15 is 7.5 minutes and you have to set the timeclock on an even number of rounding minutes. We have ours set at 7 minutes.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

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