Vacation Leave Laws

Currently, there are no federal or state laws that require employers to provide paid vacation time. As a result, employers can create their own policies related to vacation time. This chart identifies state laws that address an employer's ability to limit an employee's accrued vacation leave, implement dates that an employee must use vacation time or lose it (“use-it-or-lose-it” policies), and if they must pay earned, unused vacation time to an employee when separated from employment. Typically, absent a law addressing these matters, an employer can set their own policies.

If you don't find what you're looking for, explore our other Work & Cancer charts of state laws:

StateLaw on Capping Accrued LeaveLaw on "Use-it-or-lost-it" PoliciesPayment of Accrued Vacation Leave at End of Employment
ARIZONAEmployers must pay earned, unused vacation pay if the employer has a policy or practice of making those payments.https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https://www.azleg.gov/ars/23/00353.htm#:~:text=When%20an%20employee%20quits%20the,shall%20be%20paid%20by%20mail
ARKANSASEmployers must pay earned, unused vacation the employer provides paid vacation according to an accrual plan and vacation is earned according to that plan.https://casetext.com/case/waymack-v-kcla-inc
CALIFORNIAEmployers can place a cap on the amount of vacation time an individual can accrue.https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_vacation.htmEmployers cannot have a "use-it-or-lose it" policy.https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=LAB§ionNum=227.3.Employers must pay earned, unsused vacation leave, regardless of the reason for separation. A collective bargaining agreement saying otherwise must be followed. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=LAB§ionNum=227.3.
COLORADOEmployers can place a cap on the amount of vacation time an individual can accrue.https://cdle.colorado.gov/wage-and-hour-law/vacationEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose it" policy. https://cdle.colorado.gov/wage-and-hour-law/vacationEmployers must pay earned, unsused vacation leave, regardless of the reason for separation.https://cdle.colorado.gov/sites/cdle/files/Colorado%20Wage%20Act%20Revised%201.1.2023.pdf
CONNECTICUTEmployers must follow the terms of their policy or agreement related to the employee's accrued, unused vacation time and other fringe benefits as wages.https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_558.htm#sec_31-76k
DELAWAREEmployers do not have to pay earned vacation if the employer's policy is silent on paying earned, unused vacation leave. Employers must follow the terms of their policies to pay for earned, unused vacation leave.https://delcode.delaware.gov/title19/c011/index.html
*DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAEmployers must pay earned vacation time, unless there is an agreement stating the employer will not pay earned vacation time.https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/page_content/attachments/FAQs%20for%20OWH-Final.pdf
IDAHOEmployers must pay accrued vacation to an employee if the employer's policy or contract requires it.https://casetext.com/case/ferguson-v-city-of-orofino
ILLINOISEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy, but must permit employees a reasonable opportunity to use the leave.https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/056/056003000B05200R.htmlEmployers must pay all earned vacation. Employers cannot maintain a policy or employment contract requiring that employees give up accrued vacation upon separation from employment for any reason. The only exception to this rule is if a collective bargaining agreement says otherwise. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2402&ChapterID=68
INDIANAEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy.
KANSASEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy. https://www.dol.ks.gov/-/fringe-benefitsEmployers can restrict payment of vacation benefits in their vacation policy. https://www.dol.ks.gov/-/fringe-benefits
KENTUCKYIf employers have a policy of vested vacation pay, they must pay vacation pay if the employee is terminated or leaves voluntarily. Employers are not required to pay employees for vacation pay that has not been earned as defined by their vacation policy. https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/statutes/statute.aspx?id=32050
LOUISIANAEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy. https://casetext.com/case/wyatt-v-avoyelles-parish-school-bdEmployers cannot refuse to pay earned vacation time, regardless of the reason for separation.https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=83945
MAINEEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy. https://casetext.com/case/gibson-v-power-maintenance-international
MARYLANDIf an employer provides paid vacation leave and the policy or contract is silent on payment after termination, the employer is required to pay an employee their unused, earned vacation leave. https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/laws/StatuteText?article=gle§ion=3-505&enactments=false
MASSACHUSETTSEmployers can place a cap on the amount of vacation time an individual can accrue.https://www.mass.gov/doc/attorney-generals-advisory-on-vacation-policies/download#:~:text=An%20acceptable%20variation%20of%20an,all%20or%20part%20of%20it.An employer can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy, but must permit employees a reasonable opportunity to use the leave.https://www.mass.gov/doc/attorney-generals-advisory-on-vacation-policies/download#:~:text=An%20acceptable%20variation%20of%20an,all%20or%20part%20of%20it.Employers must pay earned leave, regardless of the reason for separation. Employers cannot enforce a vacation leave policy where an employee gives up their earned vacation on separation.https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleVII/Chapter41/Section111E
MICHIGANEmployers must pay fringe benefits according to the terms of their written contract or policy and cannot withhold any payments due at an employee's termination unless the employee agrees in writing of his own free willhttp://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(2tutiumtjnnqd1tdllozsyep))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-408-474
MINNESOTAThe employer's policy determines what vacation pay is due.https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/181.74
MONTANAEmployers can place a cap on the amount of vacation time an individual can accrue.https://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/wage-and-hour-payment-act/wage-and-hour-faqEployers are not allowed to implement a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy for earned vacation time. https://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/wage-and-hour-payment-act/wage-and-hour-faqEmployers must pay earned vacation leave, regardless of the reason for separation. Once an employee earns vacation leave, it cannot be forfeited for any reason. https://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/wage-and-hour-payment-act/wage-and-hour-faq
NEBRASKAEmployers can place a cap on the amount of vacation time an individual can accrue.https://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=48-1229Eployers are not allowed to implement a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy for earned vacation time. https://casetext.com/case/fisher-v-payflex-sys-usaEmployers can require employees to meet certain requirements before they can earn vacation leave. Once employees earn vacation, employers cannot deny payment for the vacation leave on separation. https://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=48-1229
NEW HAMPSHIREIf an employer's policy does not specify whether an employee must be paid for earned vacation, the employer generally must pay the employee for this time when the employee separates from employment.https://www.nh.gov/labor/documents/news-lab800-6-7-2016.pdf
NEW YORKEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy, but the employer must notify the employee in writing or by posting it in an accesible area. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/LAB/195Employers are required to pay accrued vacation to an employee if their policy or contract requires it or if it is silent on the matter.https://dol.ny.gov/wages-and-hours-frequently-asked-questions
NORTH CAROLINAEmployers can cap the amount of vacation time an individual can accrue. Must specify this in their vacation policy. http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title%2013%20-%20labor/chapter%2012%20-%20wage%20and%20hour/13%20ncac%2012%20.0306.htmlEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy, but it must be witten in their vacation policy.http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title%2013%20-%20labor/chapter%2012%20-%20wage%20and%20hour/13%20ncac%2012%20.0306.htmlEmployers are required to pay accrued vacation to an employee if its policy or contract requires it or if the contract is silent on the matter.https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_95/GS_95-25.12.html
NORTH DAKOTAEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy but it must be witten in their vacation policy.https://www.ndlegis.gov/information/acdata/pdf/46-02-07.pdfEmployers are required to pay accrued vacation leave. If an employee voluntarily resigns, paying earned vacation leave is not required if: (1) the employee was provided with written notice when hired; (2) the employee has been working for the employer for less than a year; (3) and, the employee gave the employer less than five days notice of resignation.https://www.ndlegis.gov/information/acdata/pdf/46-02-07.pdf
OHIOAn employer's policy determines whether earned, unused vacation is paid on termination. https://casetext.com/case/winters-jones-v-fifth-third-bank
OKLAHOMAEmployers can have a "use-it-or-lose-it" policy. https://oklahomarules.blob.core.windows.net/titlepdf/Title_380.pdfEmployers are required to provide vacation pay if its contract or policy specifically requires it.https://oklahomarules.blob.core.windows.net/titlepdf/Title_380.pdf
RHODE ISLANDEmployers must pay earned vacation time if an employee has been employed for at least a year. Prior to a year, employers can require employees meet requirements in order to receive earned, unused vacation leave on separation. http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE28/28-14/28-14-4.htm#:~:text=(b)%20Whenever%20an%20employee%20separates,and%20employee%20shall%20become%20wages
SOUTH CAROLINAAn employer's policy determines whether earned, unused vacation is paid on terminationhttps://llr.sc.gov/wage/faq.aspx
TENNESSEEIf an employer's policy provides for paid vacation leave, they must follow their terms of the policy regarding payment of earned, unused vacation on termination. https://advance.lexis.com/documentpage/?pdmfid=1000516&crid=dab74c23-8cd2-48a0-a576-f32547ff36db&nodeid=ABYAACAABAAD&nodepath=%2FROOT%2FABY%2FABYAAC%2FABYAACAAB%2FABYAACAABAAD&level=4&haschildren=&populated=false&title=50-2-103.+Payment+of+employees+in+private+employments.&config=025054JABlOTJjNmIyNi0wYjI0LTRjZGEtYWE5ZC0zNGFhOWNhMjFlNDgKAFBvZENhdGFsb2cDFQ14bX2GfyBTaI9WcPX5&pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A4X8M-1710-R03K-P262-00008-00&ecomp=8gf5kkk&prid=7c7ebf09-1520-4142-820e-5c35272c2a8e
TEXASEmployers can limit the pay out for vacation leave upon separation. However, employers must follow the terms of their policies. https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/LA/htm/LA.61.htm
UTAHEmployers must pay for earned, unused vacation leave if the employee qualifies under the terms of the policy.https://rules.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/R610-003.pdf
VERMONTIf employers have written policies related to vacation, they must follow those policies. https://labor.vermont.gov/sites/labor/files/doc_library/WH-13-Wage-and-Hour-Laws-2009.pdf
WYOMINGEmployers must pay earned, unused vacation leave out based on their terms of their policy.https://dws.wyo.gov/dws-division/labor-standards/frequently-asked-questions/
Last updated2/8/232/8/232/8/23