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If I take vacation and my boss terminates me because he doesn't like when I take my vacation - is this wrongful termination?

Syracuse, NY |

My handbook does not state when I take vacation but that I need to give 2 week notice. It does state that I have3 weeks available in one calendar year. I gave my boss my vacation schedule in early Dec. A week in January, a week in February and a week in March and I was taking unpaid time off the end of Dec '09. My boss replied - I can't have my key employee take vacation during my busiest time January - April (he has no hobbies during that time so he decides to focus on work). I do NOT work for an accounting firm. My boss said lets consider this your two week notice and terminated me. Do I have a case for wrongful termination? It is NOT indicated in my handbook that I CANT take vacation during the months of January - April. I have been working for this employer for 10+ years.

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Attorney answers 2



Gender, age, religious belief, race etc. all are discriminatory reasons for which you cannot be legally fired and upon which you might base a wrongful termination suit. If you are an at-will employee, you can be fired for any reason or no reason, except unlawful discrimination. If you do not have an employment contract or union to represent you, your recourse is limited. Discrimination based on age, gender, race, religious beliefs etc.... may give rise to a different answer.

You might find my Legal Guide helpful "Workplace Discrimination: A Basis for Wrongful Termination Claims"

You might find my Legal Guide helpful "How to Choose a Lawyer for you.”

You might find my Legal Guide helpful "What Do I Tell My Lawyer"?

No one can know what the record is in the case because online we cannot find out any details. If you have a discrimination theory about retaliatory discharge or hostile workplace conditions you'll need a lawyer. Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

Good luck to you.

God bless.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.


Unless you are working pursuant to an employment contract (in which case, the terms of that contract would govern), this would not constitute wrongful termination as described.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly advised to contact an attorney to obtain legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action with respect to the above.

Matthew J. Walters
Law Offices of Gerard A. Walters
20 Vesey Street
Suite 700
New York, New York 10007
(212) 227-1666

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