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    lost in ohio's Avatar
    lost in ohio Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jan 11, 2009, 01:41 PM
    Company taking away vacation hours before changing handbook
    Hello,

    At work I was given 5 weeks of vacation and the option to carry over 80 hrs to new year if not used previous year, per employee hand book.

    As of 1-1-09 a letter came stating that they are reducing the number of weeks to 3 which will include vacation,sick time and personal days. ALso they stated that I will not be allowed to carry over the 80 hrs I earned in 2008 to 2009. They also took 40 hours away in 2008 because they felt they gave too many hours./ I have been there about 13 years.

    I feel that any rules being put into the 09 handbook is for 2009 and cannot be retroactive. I feel my 80 hrs are able to role over to 09 because the 08 handbook states this, now any hours for 09 cannot roll to 2010.

    They also decided to state that their year starts Dec 15 ( just decided this) I took 2 weeks at Christmas so now that is coming out of the 09 vacation times. Leaving me with 1 week for 09 already. When signed up for vacation was never told that would be the way, I have taken this many times in the past and it has always been in the same calendar year.

    I do not want to lose my job but I feel they are stealing from me, I fel they cannot change benefits without anything in writing. I am a salaried employee.

    Can anyone help
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #2

    Jan 11, 2009, 03:32 PM

    Companies can and will change their rules as they see fit. I worked for a company a few years ago that did worse than that. They decided to nip some of the full time worker's hours down to the bone (less than 40 to make it a whopping 32 hours) and make some employees partial full time (whatever that meant to be no more than 32 hours) part time (less than 28 hours) and casual time (less than 25) They totally revamped their vacation schedule as well and eliminated having your birthday off and paid for and trimmed back anywhere they could that would benefit the company. And to make matters worse, they laid off about 50% of their workers as well.

    In these hard times why would you expect that you would receive any special privileges just because you were there 13 years? Does not matter. Your company is just trying to stay afloat, that's all. If you don't like their policy change, well, that's just too bad as they probably did it for their benefit, not yours.

    I live and work in Ohio also. Just where in Ohio could you get 5 weeks paid vacation? Ohio is going down the tubes big time and a lot of companies are either closing their doors, mailing the jobs overseas, or barely hanging on at all. If I were you I wouldn't whine too loudly and be extremely thankful that you even have a job. Ohio presently has few and no industry or jobs to speak of.

    P.S. When did you ever find time to work having all that time off? I've been lucky if I even get 1 week paid vacation time, 2 at most in all the time I have ever been working all my life (some 40+ years).
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,303, Reputation: 7691
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    #3

    Jan 11, 2009, 04:03 PM

    Most handbooks have a noties that say this does not make a contract and rules subject to change.

    Vacation time, humm I hear some people get it.

    But you may have a reason to file a complaint with HR and with the management, you may even have grounds to sue, but to be honest I would have another job before, and this year use up all of your current and back vacation since they will most likely take more text year.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #4

    Feb 23, 2009, 11:53 AM

    The handbook is meant as a guide, and they are not bound to stay with it... they can change it. They can certainly change the dates for start/end of their fiscal year and many companies are discontinuing the practice of carry-over of vacation time because it is a financial liability on their books, and an accounting hassle.

    I would ask your boss (if you have a really really good relationship) if he/she can make an exception just for your holiday break that you've already taken and consider it last year's vacation, since that was how you were planning on taking it when it was arranged and approved. Then make clear that you understand times are tough and that going forward the policy has changed. This is a moderate request - not asking for the full deal, not complaining about changes they must make to stay in business, but salvaging a bit of time for the rest of the year if you can. If he/she says "no", thank them graciously for considering the request, "well, I understand...hope you don't mind my asking," and leave it alone.

    I think you have to take a very cautious stance for one reason - the economy stinks and any job today is a good job. Every company has to make cuts. If their industry is not impacted, customers or suppliers or transportation vendors certainly have been. We are all in this difficult soup of bad economic factors. Doing without that vacation is terribly unfair but not as unfair as being laid off, having your hours cut, being told the company will no longer contribute to your health insurance... these are the realities for a lot of people today.
    Emland's Avatar
    Emland Posts: 2,468, Reputation: 496
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    #5

    Feb 23, 2009, 12:19 PM

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or federal or other holidays. These benefits are matters of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).
    U.S. Department of Labor - Find It By Topic - Leave Benefits - Vacations

    Which means they can change their vacation policy anytime they wish.

    Another interesting fact: This year's job loss total: 1.2 million - Nov. 7, 2008

    Is it fair? No. Is it fair that the mortgage industry fiasco is affecting the entire world economy? No. But, here we are.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #6

    May 27, 2009, 10:44 AM

    I think you're stuck. Further, I think you need to accept the changes with grace. Your company is making changes to stay in business - they cannot afford all these perks, and they are likely trying to save jobs.

    It stinks but perhaps when the economy improves, you can renegotiate to earn back a bit of that time off. If you already had a vacation planned, you might consider asking if, given you had already committed to it when the policy changed if they could consider making an exception. But that's as far as I would push it.

    There is nothing illegal about what they are doing. I know that's hard to believe, but employers always have the upper hand.

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