Ask the Lawyer: April 2011

I have an employee I wish to terminate for misconduct. Do I have to pay the employee for vacation time not used?

Yes, the unused vacation time must be paid if you have a vacation policy that explains when and how vacation time can be taken. This is called “promised wages”. Under North Carolina law, an employer does not have to provide employees with paid vacation time. If, however, you have a policy regarding paid vacation time for employees, the policy must be honored. If there are conditions in your employee handbook vacation policy regarding when employees will NOT receive payment for unused vacation time, such as not working notice, or termination for misconduct or performance, then you do not have to pay the employee for unused vacation time. This issue MUST be addressed in your employee handbook.

This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The information contained in this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between Karen McKeithen Schaede Attorney at Law, PLLC and the reader.