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Whether it be a travel destination or the now popular staycation (which is another name for the stay-at-home vacation), many questions surround the topic of vacation rights and vacation pay. This blog post via SkloverWorkingWisdom tackles the 50 most popular, and frequently asked questions about vacation time and vacation pay, and the answers to each.
My top 5 favorites from this blog post are included below. What are some of yours?
Can I be required to respond to emails or telephone calls during my paid vacation time? This is a very common – and “sticky” – question. On the one hand, if you are truly on your own time, as you should be during a vacation, you should not have to do any work for your employer while on vacation. On the other hand, professional obligations and common courtesy often require that you take the time to take a call or respond to an email. If emails, text messages and phone calls take up a substantial part of any vacation day, you have every right to request an additional, “replacement” vacation day.
Can my employer tell me when I can, and when I can’t, take my vacation? Yes, the needs of your department and organization to maintain adequate coverage of its operations necessitates close coordination between employer and employee regarding when vacation can be taken. As is almost always the case, reasonability is the rule.
My employer’s vacation policy states that no vacation is earned or accrued during the first six months of employment. Is this legal? Yes, and such provisions are quite common. For this reason, you might want to take some time off between jobs. I once learned that lesson the hard way, and because I did not ask about that “rule,” I did not get a vacation for almost 1-1/2 years.
How can I find out the laws regarding vacation and vacation pay where I live? I have found it rather easy to determine the state laws that govern vacation eligibility and vacation pay by using Google or other search engines, and putting words like “Vacation eligibility Texas” into the search box. You may need to use a variety of such words before you “hit the target.” Alternatively, you might place “Ohio Labor Board vacation laws” or similar words into a search engine to first find the website of your state’s Labor Board, Department of Labor, Employment Commission or similar governmental agency.
Is there a difference between “vacation pay” and “Paid Time Off” (sometimes called PTO)? In recent years, many employers have found it easier and more efficient to lump together all paid days off, including vacation, sick days and holidays, into one “bucket.” Many of these employers then permit their employees to take this number of days off each year, for whatever reason or rationale they wish. So, for most employers who have aggregated paid days off into “PTO,” vacation pay is a part of that PTO.
I do check email when I am on PTO even though I have my "out of office" reply running.....force of habit, I guess.