Do Vacation Days Carry Over Year to Year?

Rights and Limitations You Have with Vacation Time

For many of us, personal matters interfere with our jobs from time to time, and we don’t have as much vacation time as we would like. But there are a number of employees out there who have never missed a day and are wondering what their options are with all of the vacation time they’ve accrued.

What establishes the rights and limitations of both employers and employees is the fact that in California, vacation time is treated exactly like a wage. This means that employees have a right to it if they’ve earned it, but employers do have a right to decide how it is distributed.

Your employer has the right to:

  • Set a cap of possible vacation time accrued (an example may be 200 hours)
  • Establish time periods when vacations can be taken

Your employer cannot deny you the vacation time you’ve earned because it is considered a form of wage. This does mean, however, that if you have accrued the maximum amount of paid time off, your employer can ask you to utilize them or instead take a check for the time of vacation you’ve accrued.

Some employers allow their employees to roll them over each year, while some elect to pay their employees instead for the time they’ve accrued at the end of each year, and each is completely within the rights of the employer to do so, as long as it is a shared policy that goes for everyone else in similar positions in that workplace. This cannot be done on an individual-to-individual basis, necessarily.

If you feel your employer has not treated your vacation time with the fairness you deserve, call (310) 986-2792 and speak with our Harvard Law-educated California employment law attorney.