If I Quit My Job, What Happens to My Accrued Vacation Days?

In California, paid vacation benefits are considered wages. Vacation days are earned as labor is performed. Different employer policies may stipulate that time off is earned on a day-by-day basis, on a weekly basis, on a pay-period basis, or other.

Let’s say you have earned several days or maybe even a week of paid vacation. You haven’t used these vacation days, but then are suddenly discharged or perhaps decide to quit your job. According to California law, your employer is supposed to reimburse you at your final rate of pay for all of your earned, accrued, and unused vacation days. These should be included in your final paycheck.

For example, let’s imagine you are entitled to three weeks of annual vacation (approximately 120 hours) and your final rate of pay is $13 / hour. If you decide to quit on August 7th, the 219th day of the year, without having taken any vacation prior to your quitting date, you would be entitled to $936 vacation pay. That is 60% of your total annual vacation value because you worked 60% of the year.

This is calculated as follows:

  • 219 days of work divided by 365 days of the year = 60%
  • 60% of 120 hours of vacation entitlement = 72 hours of vacation
  • 72 hours of vacation x $13 hourly rate = $936

If your vacation pay is not included in your final paycheck, you can ether file a wage claim or file a lawsuit against your employer in attempts to recover those lost wages. For further legal advice, speak with the Los Angeles employment lawyer at our firm. As a Harvard graduate with years of experience, Alan Burton Newman can help you determine what you are entitled to in terms of vacation pay after you have been fired from or quit your job.

Contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC to discuss your wage dispute today!