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Alabama Vacation Law

Posted by Tamara

There is no law that an Alabama employer must offer paid vacations to workers. This is entirely a matter of company policy. In fact, there is no law that an employer must offer even unpaid vacations (or time off) to employees.

If an employer offers paid vacations to workers, the employer should have a written vacation policy in place. In most states, the courts will enforce the employer’s written vacation policy.

No federal or state law currently requires employers in any state to offer paid vacations. While paid vacations are a popular benefit provided to the majority of full-time workers in the U.S., there is no law that requires an employer to do so.

If an employer offers paid vacation to Alabama employees, the employer sets the policies regarding them. Employers can dictate when vacation time will be used. For example, a factory may shut down during the first week in July of every year. Every employee would be required to use his or her vacation at this time. Alternatively, the employer can dictate that employees take vacation at another time. Judy’s employer has no work for her between December 24 and January 2, so he requires her to take vacation during that time.

An employer can also require that vacations be approved in advance. For example, Tina is a restaurant hostess whose employer requires that she submit a written vacation request at least 4 weeks ahead of time. If the employer has someone to cover Tina’s shifts, the employer will approve her request. If the employer already has too many employees on vacation, Tina’s request will not be approved, and she will have to reschedule her vacation.

 Many employers have a “use it or lose it” vacation policy. The employee must use all vacation time by a certain date (such as the employee’s anniversary date or the end of the year) or lose that vacation time. This policy is currently legal in at least 47 states, including Alabama.

A few states require that all terminated employees be paid for unused vacation.


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