Author Topic: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work  (Read 16553 times)

alaw

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Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« on: July 15, 2014, 05:16:52 PM »
Quick background, I just started my job in February and accrue vacation at ~11 hours per 2 weeks. Vacation cap is 300 hours.

So my boss asked me today what my vacation plans for this year were because he said that HIS boss was getting on him to make sure that the team (i.e. me) would use up their hours since the company does not like to have employees with vacation balances at the end of the year. Out of the previous 5 place I've worked, this issue has never come up so it caught me a bit off guard.

Like every other job I've had I've always just banked the hours so that I could get paid out when I quit. I'd like to stay here for 5 years if possible using little if any vacation time, but it seems like there is a lot of pressure here to use it up since they don't like to keep it on the books.

Do you think it's worth the fight? If so how should I go about doing this? I don't mind starting over and looking for another job, but this place is otherwise great and I'd prefer just staying here until I retire. In my 11 years of working (currently age 29), I've never taken a vacation. Not that I enjoy working - because I don't - but I've always preferred just cashing out vacation time whenever I quit.

I'm new to the early retirement way of life and have been learning a lot from this site - hopefully this can help others by putting off vacation if they're able to in exchange for getting out of the workforce that much earlier.

Thanks.

oldladystache

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 05:23:14 PM »
Sometimes people who never take vacations are stealing from the company and if they took time off someone would probably figure it out. For that reason many companies force everyone to take time off.

Gray Matter

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 05:24:48 PM »
In my experience, most organizations in the US limit the number of hours you can carry over per year or are moving in this direction if it's not already their policy.  My understanding is that they don't like to carry accrued vacation on the books because it is a liability.  The past two organizations where I have worked only allow you to carry over 40 hours from one year to the next; as for the rest, it's use it or lose it.

Also, one company I worked for allowed you to accrue vacation for years and then changed their policy and you had a certain amount of time to use your accrued vacation or they would buy you out at 50 cents on the dollar.  Changing jobs is no guarantee that they won't change their policy after you start working there.

I would strongly encourage you to discover the joys of vacation days and take them!  (11 hours per 2 weeks is a lot of paid time off--I'm jealous.)

Melody

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 05:33:19 PM »
Have a look at what the industrial relations laws say in our state.
If they aren't allowed to force you, push the issue as much as you want. If they are, consider booking in half your allotted leave each year. This will be a compromise for both parties and will hopefully stop them forcing something worse onto you.

Rezdent

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 05:39:26 PM »
My experience with vacation time has been:
 1.  A lot of companies don't like or allow balances to get too big.  Many companies are moving to a use it or lose it policy or placing more restrictions on the use.  Companies can and do change this benefit all the time and often without advance notification. It's a perk.
2.  I've seen way too many people lose those balances before they got to cash in - it's not unusual for companies to switch plans/policies and folks with large balances saw them frozen, limited or even lost them.
3.  There's usually separation rules that must be followed.  One company I know requires a 3 week written  notice and all the hours during notice must be worked or no cash payout.  Ditto no cash payout if you are termed for cause.
4.  I believe that most plans that can convert to cash buyouts pay IRS penalties on top of being taxed at a higher rate...I've seen people arguing with payroll that their cash out didn't happen when in reality almost the entire amount was eaten by penalties and taxes - effectively they donated their vacation to the government.
For these reasons I carry a reasonable vacation cushion and use the rest. 
For me, a vacation bank is a terrible do savings account.  Yet YMMV.

BlueHouse

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 05:43:40 PM »
As an employer, I would appreciate it if employees would just accept the company policies and stop thinking that rules don't apply to them. This is an incredibly generous benefit so maybe you could just accept it instead of trying to get an existing company to change to meet your demands.  If the company wanted you to save it all up for pay later, they would call it "deferred compensation" instead of vacation. 

Having said that, I realize I desperately need a vacation because that was some major attitude (sorry about how I said that, but not for the meaning)

genselecus

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 05:51:53 PM »
As an employer, I would appreciate it if employees would just accept the company policies and stop thinking that rules don't apply to them. This is an incredibly generous benefit so maybe you could just accept it instead of trying to get an existing company to change to meet your demands.  If the company wanted you to save it all up for pay later, they would call it "deferred compensation" instead of vacation. 

As an employee, it can be helpful to hear the rationale behind a company policy. I'm not saying this is a problem at your company, but at my company there are company policies that make no sense, even with the "rationale" that is provided. If the rationale is flawed, it is fair to wonder why an employer wouldn't make a change. And as an employer, any company policy is fine, just remember that not all companies have the same policy.

To the OP, my company has similar rules although everything is lower (vacation accrual and limits), so good on you! I would ask why the rule exists and explain that you are OK with using vacation, but that you want to be able to take time off if it suddenly becomes necessary (family emergency, etc.). Perhaps a 300 hour balance is too large, but a 80 hour balance is more acceptable to both parties. I find it silly that they have an official company policy but then go against it.

Good luck.

sb_NoVA

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 05:59:37 PM »
I worked for a firm once where I was 'forced' to use my vacation time between projects.  I couldn't pick when I wanted to take vacation.  Needless to say, stress levels went up. 

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 06:01:49 PM »
How did you get 7 weeks of vacation time, only 11 years into your work-field?  Anyone I know with more than 6 weeks of vacation, has been working for 25 years.

I would take your vacation.  Taking vacation makes employees happier and healthier, according to the studies I've seen.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232766

boarder42

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 06:05:25 PM »
the OP clearly stated you can acrue up to 300 hours (company policy)  they are following company policy.  and shouldnt be forced to take vacay if they dont want. 

I OTH would love to buy vacation off some of the people who dont take theirs  ... i wish there was a policy for that.

totoro

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 06:10:29 PM »
In Canada it is perfectly legal to require employees to take vacation and to determine when it is taken.  In practice employers try to accommodate schedules based on seniority. I'd be surprised if it was different where you are.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 06:16:13 PM »
Sometimes people who never take vacations are stealing from the company and if they took time off someone would probably figure it out. For that reason many companies force everyone to take time off.

This. If they were really concerned about having a liability on the books, they could just implement a "use it or lose it" policy. But your boss probably doesn't want to tell you that it's about fraud control.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 06:31:54 PM »
Think quality of life - you need a vacation, it refreshes you.  A true vacation, not one where you take work with you, or are available via phone/email/whatever.  Be glad you get to take it instead of being stuck at work when you would rather be elsewhere.  And be glad to get a choice of times - as a teacher I had no choice.

You can use a vacation to travel, to do a staycation, to do a project that needs concentrated time (house project?).  Things that a weekend just won't cover.

This not taking vacation is typically American. Canadians appreciate their vacations (especially Quebecois, that is really why Montreal is the Paris of North America), Europeans get much more vacation time in general than either Canadians or Americans.

I understand the accumulating credit part, at one point a lot of sick leave could be accumulated to ridiculous amounts and cashed in, now that doesn't happen.    I know of people in jobs that vary in time demand, that can take overtime either as money or extra vacation time.  But they have to take regular vacation time, not money.

80Westy

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 06:39:35 PM »
Hello Mustacians!  Could anyone explain how people who don't take vacation may be stealing? 

Thanks

Emg03063

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 06:47:18 PM »
Hello Mustacians!  Could anyone explain how people who don't take vacation may be stealing? 

Thanks

I think that's a thing for bank officers and maybe other accounting folks who are required to use vacation 2 weeks at a time so that their books can be audited when they are gone.

To the OP, maybe not worth a fight, but you could politely explain to your boss that your understanding of policy was that you were allowed to accrue 300 hours, and that that was what you were planning to do.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 06:49:14 PM by Emg03063 »

lr

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2014, 06:50:57 PM »
Sounds like your boss is treating vacation time as vacation time, and you're looking at it as a savings account. 

I can't imagine any reason a company would have to look at things your way, unless they were very short staffed.  It would be bad for the books, bad for productivity in the long term, bad for retention, and provide a cash incentive for quitting suddenly. The only unfair thing I can imagine would be if it accrues slowly and you like taking January vacations.

Rezdent

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2014, 06:53:23 PM »
As an employer, I would appreciate it if employees would just accept the company policies and stop thinking that rules don't apply to them. This is an incredibly generous benefit so maybe you could just accept it instead of trying to get an existing company to change to meet your demands.  If the company wanted you to save it all up for pay later, they would call it "deferred compensation" instead of vacation. 

As an employee, it can be helpful to hear the rationale behind a company policy. I'm not saying this is a problem at your company, but at my company there are company policies that make no sense, even with the "rationale" that is provided. If the rationale is flawed, it is fair to wonder why an employer wouldn't make a change. And as an employer, any company policy is fine, just remember that not all companies have the same policy.

To the OP, my company has similar rules although everything is lower (vacation accrual and limits), so good on you! I would ask why the rule exists and explain that you are OK with using vacation, but that you want to be able to take time off if it suddenly becomes necessary (family emergency, etc.). Perhaps a 300 hour balance is too large, but a 80 hour balance is more acceptable to both parties. I find it silly that they have an official company policy but then go against it.

Good luck.
Not sure if this is the rationale for all companies but suspect it is a factor for most. Accrued vacation time is counted as a liability on the books.  It is something owed.   This affects the value of the company,  and can affect how much a company can borrow and the interest rates it can get.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2014, 06:56:44 PM »
Hello Mustacians!  Could anyone explain how people who don't take vacation may be stealing? 

Thanks

I'm most familiar with it from an accounting perspective, where one of the most common types of fraud is to take a payment that a customer remits and steal it. But now you have a shortfall on an account that the customer will eventually notice (when you rebill them), so you skim some money from the next customer's payment to apply, and so on and so forth. If you aren't actively there to manage it, the scheme quickly falls apart, because it's a house of cards.

I know someone who worked at Best Buy and told me a story where an entire theft ring broke down when someone in the warehouse got sick and some guy showed up while he was gone to collect stolen goods and the whole thing got reported by a person who was not normally in the warehouse, but was covering because they were short staffed.

Basically, most fraud is simple and requires constant effort to cover up. As soon as someone is forced to take a week off, another employee or notices the shady dealings. It'll come in the form of an strange client inquiry, or odd delivery or sudden increase in revenues or decrease in expenses while you're gone, or someone finds a wad of cash in your desk - whatever.

StarryC

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2014, 06:57:15 PM »
Imagine if you were a retail clerk at a store only open 40 hours a week.  On average, each day, the company brings in $100.  You take vacation, and suddenly that pops up to $120 a day.  Maybe you've been taking a $20 out of the till every day!  Accounting systems are more complex, but that is the idea.

Assuming your vacation is paid, I'd see what happens if you took half of it?  I mean there must be some you need or want to take.  So, take a week off around Christmas.  Everyone will be doing that.  Take a few days around labor day, or even the whole week.  Be sure to make a big show of it.  Put an e-mail auto-reply, tell your boss in advance, talk it up.  That will make him know & remember you are taking it.  If you take 3 weeks off, and save the other 3 weeks you'll still have plenty in the bank for an emergency and plenty saved up if you plan to quit.  Take a week off to take a class in a mustachian skill, or to do some of your own house repairs/ yard work/ car repairs/ make Christmas presents.

This is TOTALLY not worth changing jobs over.

Fatmouse

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2014, 07:23:40 PM »
If you don't want a vacation and would prefer compensation for time, maybe you can do something else for money 3-4 weeks a year.  Maybe a side gig, maybe a time intensive networking opportunity that could pay off later, maybe an investment that takes some hustle like buying real estate.  There has got to be a way to act consistently with company policy and accomplish your primary goals, in this case.

smalllife

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2014, 07:28:25 PM »
Is this for real?  I see a lot of vacation policies and this tops all of them by a large margin.  Not to mention that this is your first post and you say you haven't had a vacation in 11 years, posting in a forum for those seeking early retirement?  Anyone else think this is strange?

Exprezchef

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2014, 07:36:30 PM »
This year I went over our max vacation cap of 860 hours and my bank continues to fill at a rate of 25 hours per month. I was forced to take 2 weeks off in April, a week at the end of July and still have 6 weeks scheduled off in the September/October months. I have no problem with taking the time off but it never seems to work out for my kids school breaks. We sign up for vacation weeks at the beginning of the year by seniority and our staffing requirements only allow one employee on vacation at a time. I have two co-workers senior to me who always snatch up the summer months when the kids are out of school. I guess it's also the "saver mentality" in me that keeps my bank full as well. This September my wife and I are actually headed to Peru with another couple for a two week trip to celebrate both couples' 20 year wedding anniversaries. BTW- I am not stealing from my company :)

alaw

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2014, 08:34:08 PM »
Is this for real?  I see a lot of vacation policies and this tops all of them by a large margin.  Not to mention that this is your first post and you say you haven't had a vacation in 11 years, posting in a forum for those seeking early retirement?  Anyone else think this is strange?

I don't see what is to be gained by lying about my vacation accrual rate other than to attempt to incite jealousy - which was not my intent.

To me vacation time = $$ used for travel, hotels, etc. (I know staying home is also an option). I'm not saying I've never taken vacation a couple days here and there, but vacation in the traditional sense is not worth it or important to me - retiring early is. As others have mentioned I suppose I've treated it as a sort of "bonus account" that has always paid out for me when changing jobs - or in a couple cases an extra "severance" bonus when getting laid off.

I didn't think about the liability aspect that others mentioned which does make sense; in my particular case however there is no risk of theft/shady dealings as I'm simply a designer pumping out code all day.

All that said I do see the employer's point of view wanting me to have little/no vacation balance, however nothing stipulated that time off was mandatory when I took the job. Again, this is all surprising to me since my previous employers have never said anything about needing to take time off which is why I decided to see what others had to say.

Joel

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2014, 08:44:27 PM »
Sometimes people who never take vacations are stealing from the company and if they took time off someone would probably figure it out. For that reason many companies force everyone to take time off.

Yup. Mandatory vacation is one of the best internal controls that a company can implement.

minkcar

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2014, 09:19:27 PM »
Where I work my team is responsible for 24x7x365 support and we have always been understaffed to some degree. Because of that it's hard to train a backup, and if things go really wrong it can be bad/potentially life threatening for someone. None of us really like talking lots of vacation time, particularly with as much flexibility as we have in our regular schedules.
Just after I arrived they canceled the cash-out policy except for leaving employees. Most of my team carries large balances of vacation(300 max), and a handful have stopped accruing.
A few weeks ago my boss basically pulled me aside to tell me I needed to take time off. He's worried we're all working ourselves to death, or at least to burn-out. Our attrition rate this year has been high and is climbing.

I am still accruing, but take the occasional week off so my co-workers don't worry. If you can find a way to not carry the highest balance in your team/company you'll have an easier time carrying an atypically large balance. Otherwise just have some occasional longer vacations planned so you can always honestly say you're saving up for one. You'll just save more than you need each time and come out ahead.

Kepler

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2014, 09:20:07 PM »
As others have said, it's partially a fraud prevention measure - amusingly, I have caught two people committing fraud, when I was brought in as a temporary vacation replacement in two different companies.  One was the nephew of the CEO.  The other was the actual CEO...  In the latter, the poor accountant had been bullied for years into keeping two sets of books and, when I walked in to ask about what looked like a couple of instances of what I (at that point) assumed to be accidental double billings of clients, burst into tears, confessed the whole thing, and begged me not to tell anyone else that she was the source, as she was terrified of the CEO.  So I spent the rest of the time the CEO was away, collecting evidence that could possibly have been discovered without the accountant's help, which I turned over to the board a couple days before the CEO returned.  The board, as it turns out, had already had their suspicions: they had forced the CEO to hire me expressly so that she couldn't claim she was unable to take leave.  They coulda warned a person...

But at my current employer, I think the liability issue is a bigger concern - and the fact that there are pay rises set in stone, so holding onto leave is perceived as a way to inflate its value and cost the company more.  We're currently required to 'make a plan' for using any leave in excess of 30 days - this can be stretched a bit by booking leave well into the following year, but eventually they will get sufficiently annoyed that they 'deem' you to have booked leave for a date of their choosing.  I got caught by this once, receiving a last-minute notice that I was 'deemed' to be on leave for the period between Christmas and New Year - when the campus is normally closed down anyway.  Problem was, that year I was the sole person legally authorised to fulfil a particularly time-consuming role that had to be done during those dates - so I didn't even get to take the vacation I was being deemed to have...

Threshkin

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2014, 09:26:47 PM »
These is another downside to unlimited vacation accrual.  The value of the vacation time.

Years ago IBM famously did not have a cap on vacation accrual.  You could work there 20 years or more and never take vacation.  Then when you quit or retired you would get paid for all that accrued vacation......At your current pay rate, not at the rate you were earning when you earned the vacation time.

Quite the departure bonus!

defenestrate

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2014, 09:33:34 PM »
I fear that there are too many assumptions here. The oversight fraud thing is mostly useful in financial/accounting positions, which the author did not express. If this is the intent of the company, a better measure is to implement mandatory rotations with some randomness associated to them for short periods of time, instead of relying on employees to take vacation.

from the authors description, she has the right to accrue 300 hours--if that is the policy, the boss should not implement a new one based on the company's desire to remove liability from the books. Instead the company should create a new policy. In this situation (if i was a valued employee) I would let my boss know exactly when I intend to take vacation, even if it is when 300 hours are accrued. If the boss is concerned about fraud, offer to fill in for a colleague while they are on vacation so that another employee can audit his/her work.

Urge the employer to have their policies match the behavior they wish employees to adopt; but at the moment you have every right to accrue the hours.

Primm

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2014, 10:08:31 PM »
These is another downside to unlimited vacation accrual.  The value of the vacation time.

Years ago IBM famously did not have a cap on vacation accrual.  You could work there 20 years or more and never take vacation.  Then when you quit or retired you would get paid for all that accrued vacation......At your current pay rate, not at the rate you were earning when you earned the vacation time.

Quite the departure bonus!

^^^ This.

You accrue vacation time now, at today's hours. But you get paid at the rate that you receive when you take it.

So let's say this year you are paid $25 an hour and you accrue 160 hours. If you take it this year that's $4,000 gross the company has to pay (yes, I know about on costs etc, but I'm keeping it simple).

If you allow the time to accrue and leave the company in 5 years, you'll have racked up 800 hours of vacation time. It's not unreasonable to expect that you'll have pay increases, so you may be earning $30 an hour by then. You leave, the company pays you, and it costs them $24,000. That's $4,800 for every year you worked there. Great for you, not so great for the company.

Multiply that by the number of employers and you'll see how much it's ripping the company off, ethically if not legally. And why they want you to take it as you earn it.

Goldielocks

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2014, 10:15:47 PM »
Hello Mustacians!  Could anyone explain how people who don't take vacation may be stealing? 

Thanks

I have come across this twice, both times the no vacation was a clue.  Different companies and with the nicest people...

First time was a po writer/ purchaser for smaller office with access to petty cash.  She ordered materials from businesses that were never delivered, but paid.

The second was a senior manager In a recent company acquisition,  when he finally had time off due yo illness, we found out that this VP actually did no work.  He was good at hiding it.  It wasn't stealing but was a good bye letter. 

JamesAt15

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2014, 11:24:33 PM »
A couple of the replies have touched on this point, but one of my former employers required their people in some departments to take at least a continuous week off every year. The rationale was that this would ensure that others in the teams had processes and knowledge to cover for a missing team member if they were not available for a longer period of time.

electriceagle

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2014, 11:55:56 PM »
Sometimes people who never take vacations are stealing from the company and if they took time off someone would probably figure it out. For that reason many companies force everyone to take time off.

Got a story to tell? Edit: Wow, I guess you've all got stories to tell.

In other news...

My experience with vacation time has been:
4.  I believe that most plans that can convert to cash buyouts pay IRS penalties on top of being taxed at a higher rate...I've seen people arguing with payroll that their cash out didn't happen when in reality almost the entire amount was eaten by penalties and taxes - effectively they donated their vacation to the government.

Payroll systems often take larger amounts from bonuses and vacation payouts, but the tax rate on these funds is the same as on ordinary salary. If payroll takes too much, you'll get it back as a refund when you file your taxes.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 12:06:36 AM by electriceagle »

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2014, 06:25:32 AM »
Hello Mustacians!  Could anyone explain how people who don't take vacation may be stealing? 

Thanks

If you're stealing from the company, you might need to adjust the records every few days to hide the theft.  By making you take two weeks off in a row, the company is more likely to go through a few full cycles of whatever system you're stealing from, which makes it impossible for you to hide the theft.  Banks routinely make all employees take two full, consecutive weeks off every year as a theft avoidance measure.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2014, 06:27:15 AM »
Unused vacation time is a liability on a company's balance sheet.  So, depending on where the company is based, the unused vacation time may have a negative impact on earnings.  They want to get this liability off the books before the final year-end auditing is done, to make the balance sheet look better.  That's what my company does, anyway.  We can't carry a single day over.

Snow White

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2014, 06:45:10 AM »
Skipping vacations isn't just used for stealing money.  I once worked on a team with a home care nurse who never took vacations, never called in sick, never needed help in managing her case load...etc.  We all just thought she was super nurse and didn't suspect anything.  She was finally found to only have a case load of a couple of patients and everyone one else she was supposedly caring for was fraudulent.  They were all real people who had originally been receiving services but she would "discharge" them after a short period of time and then make up visits which were billed to Medicare.  She stole money only in the respect that she was being paid for work she wasn't doing and Medicare was paying the company for care that wasn't provided.  I don't know how she actually spent her work hours but it wasn't working.  It was only discovered because a patient was called by office staff asking for clarification of something and the patient expressed surprise that she'd get a call many months after being discharged from the agency.  Oops.

The home care company fired the RN of course and then the policy changed so that only a limited number of vacation hours could be banked.  It has been my experience that most companies I have worked for require either that you take all vacation leave by a specific time or lose it.  It was always a marvel to me that some people chose to lose vacation leave rather than use it.  Go figure.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 06:46:41 AM by Snow White »

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2014, 07:17:18 AM »
Our time off is called PTO (Paid Time Off) and encompasses both vacation and sick days. We get to carry over one week per year. It is the best system I have ever worked under. Why? Since employees are only allowed to carry over one week of time, there is incentive (pressure, even) to take time off. If you are sick, you are sick - you had to burn time anyway. So people aren't selfishly dragging their infectious selves to work in order to bank more time. If you have a full workload you still get time away from work (there are rare exceptions). I have never had a vacation request turned down when I gave sufficient notice. Just want a slow Friday off? No problem at all if the workload permits it.

If I could bank 300 hours like the OP I would surely do it (slowly and steadily, over time), but to the OP I say be grateful you work in an environment where time away from work is the expectation.

Jags4186

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2014, 07:19:40 AM »
We have to use our days from the previous year by end of February the following year. We don't get paid for unused days and if we leave/are terminated we don't get paid for unused days. You are entitled to 0 days off legally so I would just use them while they are available. The company could change its policy tomorrow and limit you to X hours carry over/eliminate them altogether.

Use some time.


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matchewed

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2014, 07:30:23 AM »
What does your employee handbook state about vacation? If there is clear language stating that you have to take a vacation, take the vacation. If there is clear language limiting the amount of rollover or if there is no rollover, take the vacation. If none of these are covered in the handbook sit down with your boss and let him know you weren't really planning on taking a vacation. Don't make it into a money thing. Explain that you don't see anywhere in the handbook requiring you to take vacation (perhaps brush up w/ HR on that point before you have the meeting). And if you get enough push-back take off a Friday here or there.

zinnie

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2014, 07:36:08 AM »
What does your employee handbook state about vacation? If there is clear language stating that you have to take a vacation, take the vacation. If there is clear language limiting the amount of rollover or if there is no rollover, take the vacation. If none of these are covered in the handbook sit down with your boss and let him know you weren't really planning on taking a vacation. Don't make it into a money thing. Explain that you don't see anywhere in the handbook requiring you to take vacation (perhaps brush up w/ HR on that point before you have the meeting). And if you get enough push-back take off a Friday here or there.

This. You mentioned not being told when you were hired--but not that you checked with the HR policies or read the employee handbook. That level of detail is not going to be in an offer letter...

If his boss is getting on him for people not taking their vacation by the end of the year there is likely some kind of policy that would prevent you rolling over five years of vacation days. Which is completely standard where I have worked. I've never been able to hold on to more than 2x what I get each year, and I have seen a lot of 1.5x or just one year's worth in the policies.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 07:38:52 AM by zinnie »

samburger

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2014, 07:47:18 AM »
I say be grateful you work in an environment where time away from work is the expectation.

This. I can't carry over any of my 33 days and it's wonderful. I take a lot of long weekends and a couple week-long trips. Time off is worth waaaaay more than whatever they could pay me for it.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2014, 07:54:24 AM »
1.  Pick your battles (not this one!!).
2.  Take a vacation, even if it's a staycation (it's good for your health which is good for your wallet in the long run).

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2014, 07:58:20 AM »
I fear that there are too many assumptions here. The oversight fraud thing is mostly useful in financial/accounting positions, which the author did not express. If this is the intent of the company, a better measure is to implement mandatory rotations with some randomness associated to them for short periods of time, instead of relying on employees to take vacation.

This may be true (although people have pointed out non-financial stories) - but I've never known a company that said, "Only the accounting department has mandatory vacation, everyone else can do as they please." There is one company-wide vacation policy. Once the company acknowledges that some departments can benefit from forced vacation as part of a fraud-prevention scheme, then all employees will be subject to it, no matter how susceptible their position is to fraud.

rujancified

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2014, 09:13:37 AM »

I OTH would love to buy vacation off some of the people who dont take theirs  ... i wish there was a policy for that.

SAME. I can buy 1 extra week, but there have been years when 2 or 3 extra would have been wonderful.

Trudie

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2014, 10:15:31 AM »
There are two ways of looking at this -- from an HR standpoint and an accounting standpoint.

From the HR standpoint -- Many would argue, and I agree, that people are happier, healthier, and more productive throughout the year if they take regular breaks.  Maybe you're the exception, but research bears this out and most larger companies are going to look at it in the aggregate.  In a similar vein, many companies would argue that they need some predictability about the number of days people are going to be gone in a year.  This is particularly true in my industry (a utility) where we need to go out to the customer premise and only have a certain number of trained technicians.

The issue of "forcing" you to use your vacation is closely aligned with labor laws.  It is considered a part of your compensation.  Employers can get in trouble for NOT giving you what you're entitled, so they must legally keep it on their books as a financial liability (when it is earned, not taken).

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2014, 10:34:52 AM »
Hello Mustacians!  Could anyone explain how people who don't take vacation may be stealing? 

Thanks

Both in and out of the financial industry, audits are planned when employees are on vacation.  It's the only time a person's productivity drops to 0, making for easier analysis.  In sales, for example, a good way to take a peek in on a sales-person's "book of work" is to wait until they are off on vacation.  You can assess the efficiency the sales person is working the leads (contact info for prospective customers) the company is purchasing for her/him.  It's also much less stressful for an employee to be absent for these audits; it doesn't disrupt their work flow.  Also the employer may be looking for X but the employee is hyper-paranoid about non-important Y and would spend needless energy covering for this minor, coachable work deficiency.

Fishingmn

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2014, 10:52:12 AM »
I think many companies want employees to take vacation as a way of recharging the batteries to come back to work refreshed after taking time away.

If that's not for you that's fine but every company I know of these days has a cap on carrying over vacation.

defenestrate

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Re: Being Forced to Use Vacation Time at Work
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2014, 10:59:37 AM »
I fear that there are too many assumptions here. The oversight fraud thing is mostly useful in financial/accounting positions, which the author did not express. If this is the intent of the company, a better measure is to implement mandatory rotations with some randomness associated to them for short periods of time, instead of relying on employees to take vacation.

This may be true (although people have pointed out non-financial stories) - but I've never known a company that said, "Only the accounting department has mandatory vacation, everyone else can do as they please." There is one company-wide vacation policy. Once the company acknowledges that some departments can benefit from forced vacation as part of a fraud-prevention scheme, then all employees will be subject to it, no matter how susceptible their position is to fraud.

This is my point exactly. The company, not the "boss" create vacation policy. The boss should not deviate or ask an employee to do anything other than follow the policy. If there is an issue with the policy, it should not be fixed by asking or forcing an employee to do anything, but by changing the rules of the company. This is not just about vacation policy, it is about creating environments where employees can trust the company they work for--The appropriate course of action for the boss in this story is to address this issue on a systemic basis with HR, not asking the individual employee to take a vacation.