Louisiana's law on the payment of vacation time after leaving employment is as follows:
"D.(1) For purposes of this Section, vacation pay will be considered an amount then due only if, in accordance with the stated vacation policy of the person employing such laborer or other employee, both of the following apply:
(a) The laborer or other employee is deemed eligible for and has accrued the right to take vacation time with pay.
(b) The laborer or other employee has not taken or been compensated for the vacation time as of the date of the discharge or resignation."
This can be confusing at times because many individuals interpret this to mean that if they have accrued the right to take vacation, they automatically have the right to be paid. Notice, however, that the statute says "in accordance with the stated vacation policy", which means that the employer determines whether vacation time is paid or unpaid.
Louisiana courts have previously held that if an employer is silent on the subject of vacation time and its payment upon the termination of the employment relationship, then the employer may be required to pay the accrued vacation time. (Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998)).
First, contact your employer and see if you can retrieve, in writing, the company policy on vacation time and its payment. Second, if the policy appears to state that vacation time is paid, then contact you previous employers Human Resource department and request payment of your vacation time. If this is refused, I suggest you contact an Employment Law Attorney in the Lake Charles area.
Information provided in this response is intended to be informational or educational only. It in no way establishes an attorney-client relationship. Because every case is factually dependent, it is not possible to accurately answer each question posed. If you have sincere legal concerns, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel in your area. Any response is not intended to create, nor does it create, a continuing duty to respond.
Generally, under Louisiana law, if an employ has unused vacation days they are entitled to payment for that time upon termination of their employment. It depends on whether there is a policy regarding whether the vacation is paid time off or unpaid time off. If the employer does not have a written policy, Louisiana courts have generally held that the employee is entitled to payment. In addition, if you have accrued, unused vacation time, the employer may not require you to forfeit that time, regardless of the reason or circumstances surrounding your termination.
If you are entitled to payment for vacation time, your employer must pay what you are owed within 15 days of your termination or your next scheduled pay day, whichever is first. If not, they are liable for attorney fees and potential penalties equal to one days wages for each day they are late, up to 90 days.