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Will I be Paid for Unused Vacation or Sick Time if I'm Fired?

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Question: Will I be Paid for Unused Vacation or Sick Time if I'm Fired?

Answer: Because companies are not obligated to provide paid vacation or sick time to employees, they are also not required to pay for unused leave time, unless there is a state law providing for payment when an employee is fired or laid-off.

In addition, there is no federal law governing if and when accrued vacation must be paid when an employee leaves his or her job. However some states required payment of unused leave.

If you are fired, you may, or may not, be paid for unused vacation and sick time. It depends on company policy and the law in your state regarding accrued leave time and whether that company policy sets criteria for:

1. Paying any employees for unused vacation or sick leave.
2. Paying employees who are fired for cause for unused vacation or sick leave.

State law and how the company policy is written would determine your eligibility for pay. The policy should be consistent and clear so employees understand what they are entitled to receive when their job is terminated.

If you're not sure about eligibility check with your state department of labor for information on what unused leave pay you qualify for.

Have a Question?

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about termination from employment, including reasons for getting fired, employee rights when you have been terminated, collecting unemployment, wrongful termination, saying goodbye to co-workers and more.

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