I work for a contract security company and my manager recently imposed a new "rule" stating that all new employees must wait 6 months before requesting unpaid time off, and that any requests before their 6 months are up will be denied. This rule as far as I know is not company wide and was not passed through our branch management.
Without a union there to negotiate over changes in working conditions, the employer is free to impose such a rule. You may want to seek the advice of an employment attorney to discuss your options, as I would only go over the head of your supervisor to branch management at your own risk.
The answers and comments given are general in nature, and not legal advice as it pertains to your specific question or matter, and does not establish an attorney client relationship. We have not met in person, or spoken on the telephone, and I do not represent you. The choice of an attorney is an important decision, and I encourage you to speak with an attorney in person to review the details of your particular case. Each case will depend on its specific facts, which are not known to me at this time.
With a few exceptions, no law requires an employer to approve unpaid time off. The exceptions relate to time off for very specific purposes: if you need time off for certain civil obligations like jury duty or military service, for example, your employer needs to allow that. Larger employers are also required to provide time off for family or medical emergencies, but that only applies to employees who have been with the employer for at least a year. Alternately, if your employment contract explicitly allows you unpaid time off, your manager can't unilaterally change that. Outside of a contract or some fairly limited statutory exceptions like the ones I mentioned, though, there is no general right to unpaid time off.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice for your specific situation, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between us.
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