Vacation, Holiday, Sick and Overtime
Employers have no legal obligation to offer you any vacation
time. The same applies to holiday pay. Both are given at the discretion
of the employer and not mandated by law. Moreover, even if an employee
does offer vacation benefits, the employer can dictate how much and when
you can take that vacation time. Thus, believe it or not, an employer
can tell you that you are not entitled to vacation pay unless and until
you work for a full year – or even two years.
However, certain states, again, do say otherwise. Moreover, if you have
unpaid vacation pay, in certain states, you are entitled to receive that
pay if you leave or are fired from your job.
Federal law also does not require your employer to give you paid sick
days. However, you are entitled to unpaid sick leave if you meet the qualifications
under the Family and Medical Leave Act. See the FMLA topic for more information.
Over Time Pay
If you are a nonexempt employee entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA
(see Overtime Pay). In general, if you work overtime, you are entitled
to pay at one and a half times your normal hourly rate.
However, in some cases, you employer may offer compensatory (comp) time
instead of cash. Comp time is only legal, however, if it is offered at
one and a half times the overtime hours worked and taken during the same
pay period the overtime hours were worked.
In addition, your employer must notify you in advance before they offer
comp time instead of overtime pay.
An employer need only pay for overtime accrued over a given week. Thus,
if you work 42 hours a week, you are entitled to two hours of overtime
compensation. However, overtime compensation is not given by the day,
i.e., if you work 10 hours one day, but only work 40 hours over the course
of the week, you are not entitled to overtime pay. Once again, however,
some specific states do offer stricter laws – California, for example,
requires overtime for employees who work more than eight hours on a given