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  1. #1

    Default Employer Will Take Away Vacation Time if I Take Vacation While at Out-of-State Office

    My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: Colorado

    I hope I am posting this in the right section. I wasn't sure.
    I work for a company in Colorado that sends some of their employees to North Dakota for work. The schedule is two weeks in ND and one week in COLO. Ive been doing this since Feb of this year, but have worked for the company for over five years. I've earned three weeks vacation every year, if I don't use it all, I can cash it in. While in ND, I asked my manager for a week of vacation this month, he replied saying "If you take any vacation while in ND, you are forfeiting the remaining two for the rest of the year" This was news to me. This information was not disclosed to me prior to the decision to head up to ND. So this is where I am at, whether I stay up here on this rotation or whether I decided to work locally again within this year, I'd have lost two weeks vacation, just for taking the one while on the North Dakota rotation. And from the rumors I am hearing, you will not even be able to cash in. So, I am taking this week vacation(it's something I really have to do!), I will be forfeiting two weeks off paid, that's 108 hours @ over twenty dollars an hour, gone. This does not sit well with me and seems illegal. I am not sure if I should contact Human Resources but I am pretty sure talking to my managers will be unproductive. I think they are using this as leverage to keep us from taking any vacation on the ND rotation so they won't have to find a replacement. There aren't many volunteers for the rotation as many like to stay local. I am beyond upset. Ive been a very dedicated, hard working employee and never a bother. But I really would hate to see them get away with something if it's illegal, stops me from earned time with my family and/or the 108 hours in green.
    Well, there is my problem. Does anyone know if this is legal or any advise on the matter?
    I would greatly appreciate it.

    -T (by the way, I'm using wife's account)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Employer Will Take Away Two Weeks Vaca, if I Opt to Take a Week While Working in

    Your employer is absolutely within his rights to deny you vacation time while in ND. There are no circumstances whatsoever, barring a legally binding and enforceable contract that expressly and in so many words says otherwise, under which an employer is legally bound to allow you to take vacation any time you want. Black out periods where no vacation can be taken are 100% legal in all states, and in 30+ years of HR I have never seen or heard of a contract that gives an employee that power.

    Whether they can or cannot take away all the rest of your vacation if you go on vacation while on your ND rotation is a moot point until you do and they do. That would be something you would have to argue with the CO DOL. But they can fire you, quite legally and without any gray area whatsoever, for taking vacation without permission. You might eventually end up getting paid for the other two weeks vacation, but it would be at the expense of your job.

    So my suggestion would be to reschedule the vacation that is currently scheduled for the time you are in ND.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Employer Will Take Away Two Weeks Vaca, if I Opt to Take a Week While Working in

    Thank you for your reply.
    They are not giving me black out periods or denying me the requested vacation this month. I have permission for the week vacation I requested this month, but it'll be at the cost of the other two weeks I am entitled. Does that make sense? If I end up being in ND through the entire year, I can only take one vacation, at the expense of the other two weeks. If I do not take this vacation while in ND in hopes that I'll eventually be back in the local rotation before the end of the year is gone and get my entitled three weeks, does not seem fair.
    I guess the only thing I can do at this point is take the one week vacation I requested(and they are granting), and after that, contact HR and try and fight for the two weeks they took from me due to the vacation time I took.
    A fellow coworker took one of his two weeks off last week, but just now, after the fact, found out he forfeited his other week because of it. He was also unaware of this before heading into this rotation. He lost a week vacation, without his knowledge, due to the vacation time he took, and was granted. It does not seem right. It feels like a punishment for taking vacation time. If we want it, we'll have to pay dearly for it!
    SO anyway, just to be clear, we are not taking vacation without permission. We are not taking vacation during any black out periods. It's simple, they are taking the remaining vacation if we elect to take any time off while in ND. We should be entitled those three weeks paid, whether it's time off, or to be able to cash them in. Also, seems shady that they did not tell us of this "one for the price of three" thing until we were already up here. No one in their right mind would sacrifice three weeks vacation just to have ONE! I would not have taken this rotation had I known before hand. So, the price of my one week vacation is very high. I won't get fired, but I'd be giving up my earned vacation and pay.
    I hope that makes better sense. Sorry if I am repeating myself. I just want to make this clear.
    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Employer Will Take Away Two Weeks Vaca, if I Opt to Take a Week While Working in

    We understood. The answer you received was equally clear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    3,043

    Default Re: Employer Will Take Away Two Weeks Vaca, if I Opt to Take a Week While Working in

    Again, there are no laws governing the granting and/or management of employee vacations.

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