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Employment law / labor law: what are the requirements for an employer to request for sick pay/vacation pay reimbursement

Huntington Beach, CA |

I am employed in California. I have worked for the company for the past 7 years and have recently given my notice. As of my last day, the company has requested I reimburse it for sick and vacation time taken, but not available since 2011. It is requesting I repay 67 hours in sick pay and 57 hours in vacation pay. All but 5 hours would be from prior years, which I had paid taxes on. Can the employer make me pay back the time? As far as I know there is no company policy on it.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The California Department of Industrial Relations website has helpful information:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_vacation.htm

Matthew Blair
310-550-1555
www.beverlyhillsbusinesslawyers.com

Contact me for a FREE case consultation 310-550-1555, email: mblair@chakmakislaw.com. I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Answers must not be relied upon. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.

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Posted

There are no laws which require an employer to provide vacation or sick pay benefits (except in San Francisco), so when an employer does offer such benefits, the terms of the benefit plan controls how they are earned and when they are paid. Typically, such plans are contained in employee handbooks or in employment offer letters.

It is not clear from your post if you are saying you were, in fact, paid sick and vacation in pay in advance of your having earned the right to take them. If I were you, I would ask the company for a copy of its policy pertaining to these benefits. If they do not have one, it would be very difficult for them to claim to have a legal basis for you repay them. It could be you actually did earn them.

By law, the employer must pay you all wages you have earned as of the last day of your employment. It cannot use self-help to deduct the money it is claiming you owe. If you run into continued problems with this employer, you should consult with an employment law attorney in your area, for more informed advice and assistance.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.

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Posted

I agree with my collegues. The main point is that the employer must pay you for all hours worked and cannot go back and deduct your wages. I agree that you need to get the specifics of the plan from the employer, that is your first step.

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