Ask HR: Can We Make Employees Use Their Accumulated Vacation Hours?
Ask HR: Can We Make Employees Use Their Accumulated Vacation Hours?

Ask HR: Can We Make Employees Use Their Accumulated Vacation Hours?

Summer is upon us and over the next three months, there's a good chance your organization will be affected by an increase in employee vacations. But what if an employee decides against using their allotment of vacation time? The pros at HR Support Center receive these types of employee management questions on a daily basis and offer expert advice and feedback. Here's a look at how they recommend managing vacation time.

Q: Can an employer legally make their employees use their accumulated vacation hours?

A: Yes. An employer can tell an employee that they need to take time off. However, that rarely bodes well for the morale of the employee if they don't want to take time off.

Some employers have a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy where any remaining vacation time is lost if unused by a certain date. But these kinds of policies are not legal in all states. If your state doesn’t allow use-it-or-lose-it, or the employee isn’t willing or able to take off as much time as you would like, you could instead pay them for the hours they’re unable to use. This option is acceptable in every state and reduces the potential for low morale.

If you’d prefer that employees use up the time, it’s best to give them at least three months’ notice (even more is better) so they can plan for what they’ll do with their free time and coordinate with friends and family.

Be sure that you’re applying these policies and practices consistently across the organization. And if you’re introducing a new standard like use-it-or-lose-it, or payout on December 31st, make sure that employees are made aware of the policy in writing.

*This information is not intended for legal advice; if you have legal questions concerning a particular situation, you should consult with a licensed attorney. *

More to Discover

How to Pay 1099 Employees

How to Pay 1099 Employees

As the gig economy grows more employers are looking to hire independent contractors (aka 1099 workers). But since paying independent contractors isn’t a walk in the park, many employers are looking for step-by-step instructions. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know: How Do I Pay a 1099 Worker? This subject is something you will need to discuss in detail with the person you’re hiring for the job. Often, they will have a written contract that stipulates how and when they should be paid. The two most common methods of payment are hourly and by the job or project. Some independent contractors — such as attorneys — prefer to be paid on retainer, which means you pay them a lump sum at the beginning of each month in return for a...

States with Salary History Bans

States with Salary History Bans

Requesting job applicants’ salary histories has been a pretty common practice for employers over the years. Recruiters and hiring managers often use this knowledge to exclude people from the candidate pool, either because the applicant is “too expensive” or their previous salary is so low, hiring managers think the person is poorly qualified or inexperienced.Businesses have also used previous salary information to calculate new hire compensation—a process that can perpetuate pay disparity between women and men. To address this inequality, several states and municipalities have enacted bans on asking for previous salary information, although laws vary in terms, scope and applicability. The states and territories that have enacted salary...

Case Study: Buy Sod

Case Study: Buy Sod

Buy Sod Inc. Partners with Paycor to Pay Employees & Maintain Tax Compliance “Because we’re a niche company, our administrators sometimes have trouble uncovering and implementing best practices. But when we partnered with Paycor they brought the expertise and thought leadership to help us overcome tough challenges like the new EEO-1 report. Paycor has the patience, knowledge and resources to help us stay ahead of problems and grow.” - Jennifer Hillard, Director of People and Culture Why Buy Sod Inc. Chose Paycor In 2002, three family businesses came together to create a network of sod farms that operate and distribute around the country. But with ten locations and eighteen different payrolls to process, Buy Sod Inc. struggled to...

Achieve Your People Management Goals

Achieve Your People Management Goals

People management is at the heart of everything you do. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks necessary to keep your business running. We can help you get out of the weeds.Paycor’s core HR solution for all employee data dramatically reduces admin—you’ll never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems or re-key information. We build HR software for leaders who want to make a difference. For 30 years, we’ve been listening to and partnering with leaders of medium and small business, so we know what they need.We’re here to help you build a great place to work, where people thrive and grow. Let’s get started! Take the People Management Benchmark Quiz