Vacation pay is not required by law. When an employer has a policy of paying vacation pay, the policy controls what the employer must do. Some employers have a "use it or lose it" policy that requires you to actually take a vacation while employed or lose the benefit. Sometimes an employer's policy requires that vacation be taken within a certain time frame or be lost. Sometimes an employer's policy pays the employee for all unused vacation at the time of termination. Sometimes the employer pays only if the termination is voluntary. You should ask your employer for its written policy regarding vacation pay. If the employer has no written policy, you may have to do a little investigating to find out what the employer has done in the past. If you were given any kind of written statement of the policy, you should be able to rely on that statement unless the employer gave you a written notice that the policy changed.