need input on a work/losing vaca hours dilemma
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 11/19/2013 by houstonsandy in NSBR Board
 

houstonsandy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 6:45:52 AM
I work part time (20hr/wk) at a public county library.
We get vacation hours as pt employees.....well, we did until yesterday.
We were informed yesterday that pt employees will no longer get vacation hours.
Also, any hours not used by the end of the year will be lost.
The library administration is petitioning commissions court to allow them to pay us for our unused vaca hours out of the library budget. They will not have an answer until January.
The dilemma:
I have about 60 hours banked.
I could take my 3 weeks of vacation (maybe...I guess with every pt employee system wide taking all their vaca by the end of the year it is going to be hard) or I can gamble that I will get a nice lump sum after the first of the year.
The money would be real nice....but its not a sure thing.
My dh is having knee replacement surgery in a couple weeks, so it would be nice (ha) to be able to stay home and take care of him....
I'm just worried that the hope of a payout is like a carrot dangling in front of us to keep the pt people at work till the end of the year.
There are some pt people with not very much vaca built up yet, but then there are others who can't use it all even if they took off the rest of the year, so I am somewhere in the middle.
It sucks!
What would you do?





lostinspace
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Posted: 11/19/2013 6:49:44 AM
Take some time off to be with your son after surgery.
Hope that you will get a payout.



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houstonsandy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 6:52:30 AM
oooops..meant dh...fixed it...





Oliquig
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Posted: 11/19/2013 6:56:11 AM
If it is unsure as to whether you will get the money, and they've already nicked you off once, I would take the time.


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mikklynn
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Posted: 11/19/2013 6:56:16 AM
Take the time off. I wouldn't risk losing the hours with no compensation, although I have my doubts they can really do that legally.


Lynn



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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:04:03 AM
Use your hours. If they made this change because of budget issues it is very unlikely they'd have the money to pay you a lump sum in exchange.


Ellen

houstonsandy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:46:45 AM
The person in admin said they had money in the budget they could use (I guess redistributing something) and she was "cautiously optimistic" that it would be approved.
I still have my doubts.
I will feel guilty about taking the time off though.
We just lost three of our part time people in circ in the last month.
Two were temp employees that had their positions eliminated and one that retired. It will really be tough if two more of us take off work for a few weeks.
I should probably get over that feeling, huh?





little mama
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:50:16 AM
That's pretty crappy to give you such late notice, especially if you were previously able to carry over time. Personally, I think all you part timers should immediately put in for all the time you have remaining. I can see them ending the vac policy, but you should be able to use up what you have in a reasonable amount of time in the new year.


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AKathy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:52:17 AM
One in the hand is worth two in the bush. Take the time, it's a sure thing, the money isn't.


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kimberly38
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:55:07 AM
I think that all libraries everywhere are having a tough time.

I would take the vacation time because I really don't see you getting a lump sum. Although, I think it is crappy to announce so close to the end of the year.

As for your time, you earned it, you deserve to take it. It is not your fault they are only letting you know this information now.

Unfortunately, it may be tough for the others, but I cna bet they would take the time they had coming to them and not lose money/hours because of the tasks of another employee.

eebud
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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:05:13 AM
I would probably end up splitting it. I would take a couple of weeks off and then keep a week and hope to get paid out for it........especially if the money would come in really handy at the time. I know the money isn't a sure thing though.





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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:08:15 AM
Take the time off to be with your DH. Let them sort out the mess that they are creating.



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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:12:29 AM
I would take the time.

Could an HR professional chime in - are they allowed to just change the terms for earned compensation like this? Obviously they can change it going forward but if the policy was that they could bank the vacation time and roll it over, can they give the employees such short notice and say use it by x date or lose it? Esp. when logistically it may not be possible for all employees to use their banked time given how many weeks are left in the year? This seems really shady.



megmc
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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:14:50 AM
take it now....they do not have to pay pt employees for vacation hours. My husband lost 20 or so hours when he left his pt job at the airport. He never used them thinking that they would just pay him the hours....nope part time employees for the city must use or lose.

Christine58
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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:32:11 AM
Take it now. I would not count on a pay out. They aren't required to give PT people vacation pay.



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PinkShirley
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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:36:38 AM

    We just lost three of our part time people in circ in the last month.
    Two were temp employees that had their positions eliminated and one that retired.


Your county is doing what it can to cut costs. I wouldn't for one second believe they are going to pay out for unused vacation time in the new year.

Take the time off.

Mallie
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Posted: 11/19/2013 9:27:45 AM
You are not going to see cash for that time. It's not going to happen.

Take the time off and stop feeling guilty. You earned that time. It's yours. You should feel no more guilty about using it than you do about using the money you earn to buy anything you want with it.

MikeWozowski
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Posted: 11/19/2013 9:27:57 AM
take the time off. don't feel guilty about it.

Luvspaper
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Posted: 11/19/2013 9:28:43 AM
I would take the vacation time. It's the one way you are guaranteed to be paid for the time.

That said, if you resigned, would they pay out that unused vacation time? If so, then the carrot might actually be there. But if there is no promise to pay out unused time, that carrot may not be there at all. Since it is a public employer and they are giving you time/notice to use it, I suspect they might only pay out those that can't (rather than won't) use it all by the end of the year.

Texas follows an employer policy standard for private firms -- not sure what they follow for public employers. So this is just my best guess.

seasonscraps
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Posted: 11/19/2013 9:40:29 AM
I would take the time. There's no guarantee you will be paid next year and I can't help but think they are dangling the carrot with hopes not everyone uses their vacation time by the end of year.




kellybelly77
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Posted: 11/19/2013 9:52:46 AM

Could an HR professional chime in - are they allowed to just change the terms for earned compensation like this? Obviously they can change it going forward but if the policy was that they could bank the vacation time and roll it over, can they give the employees such short notice and say use it by x date or lose it? Esp. when logistically it may not be possible for all employees to use their banked time given how many weeks are left in the year? This seems really shady.


I am not an HR professional but my friend was in a similar situation when her employer announced that they were changing the vacation time system and gave her about 3 mo to take a ton of time off or lose it. I had her call the US DOL and they told her that it was legal to make these changes as she was an hourly employee and under no contract. She worked for private business in an at will state so I don't know if that makes a difference in this scenario or not.


Kelly

peasful1
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Posted: 11/19/2013 10:27:31 AM
That happened to DH. They decided to no longer pay for unused time. The new policy was use it or lose it.


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Miss Lerins Momma
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Posted: 11/19/2013 10:33:54 AM
I'd use the time. Just in case you don't get paid for it!!








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mdoc
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Posted: 11/19/2013 10:51:38 AM
I would take the time off to help DH through his surgery. It's a bird in the hand, he most likely needs you, and since you have a very legitimate reason to take off, I would hope your vacation request would be accommodated.

One other thing - if everyone who has vacation puts in for vacation at the same time, they may allow some people to roll over the vacation for a limited period of time - they'd almost have to if they've changed their policy last minute and then don't permit the vacation to be used. I'm sure that runs afoul of some labor law.

BeckyTech
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Posted: 11/19/2013 10:56:33 AM

I will feel guilty about taking the time off though.
If there is one thing I've learned over all my years of working it is that the company or organization will happily take anything and everything you are willing to give. There is no one, however, to feel guilty about not reciprocating.

Oh sure, your supervisor might say they "feel bad" but you can't pocket "feel bad." Your supervisor isn't going to turn "feel bad" into action.

This doesn't come from a place of bitterness, just experience. And the chances of taking budget out of one bucket and putting it into another? Practically nil.

Take every minute you are owed, guilt-free.

backtoscrap
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Posted: 11/19/2013 11:39:13 AM
Can you schedule the last 3 weeks of the year off? That way if you find out they are going to pay out, maybe you can cancel your scheduled time off?

Luvspaper
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Posted: 11/19/2013 11:52:59 AM
Finally got a chance to research through TWC:
(1) ' However, most employers do provide some kind of paid leave, in varying amounts that are up to a company to determine for itself. If such leave is promised in a written policy or agreement, the leave is an enforceable part of the wage agreement under the Texas Payday Law. The written policy or agreement will be enforced according to what it provides'

(2) 'No Texas or federal law requires employers to make payouts of accrued but unused paid leave, although in rare instances, usually involving express contracts, some courts have required such payments to former employees. That is a matter left to employers to specify in their company policies. Thus, it is very important for employers to develop a clear, preferably written, policy regarding paid leave and follow it exactly. If the policy is silent on what happens to accrued, untaken leave, it is not enforceable under the Texas Payday Law.'

(3) 'While not having a written paid leave policy can seem tempting from the standpoint that non-written leave policies cannot be enforced under the Texas Payday Law, that can lead to other problems such as lack of consistency, complaints from aggrieved and confused employees, and even discrimination complaints. Past practices sometimes become enforceable in court if a discrimination charge is based on unpaid compensation.'
All from : http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/vacation_and_sick_leave.html

It is all going to fall back to any written or unwritten policies.....They can definitely change on a going forward basis. And as long as they don't have a written policy that you must be paid accrued, unused time, they are probably on the legal side. Fair? Maybe not...especially if you aren't allowed to use what you have earned.

styxgirl
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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:51:20 PM
I agree with the rest of the poster that say take the time owed to you! Don't feel bad about being gone. You earned the vacation and it will never be there again. Take it! The payout is no guarantee and you will wish you had taken it all If they don't pay out. not a gamble I would risk.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:06:56 PM
I would take the time off if it were me, as the payout seems like a longshot.

Just think of it this way; the vac time was distributed with intent that it is for time away from the workplace, not extra money in a lump sum.
That might make it easier for me to remind myself of this if I were trying to decide and feel good about it.
Besides, hubby would probably love having you around after his surgery.




peapermint
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:08:17 PM
As someone who once lost 150+ hours of vacation time for never using it, I say USE IT!

Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:26:35 PM

I agree, I'd use it.



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houstonsandy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 2:33:51 PM
I guess I'll be using it then!
Worst thing is...I have already paid for a 9 day trip
in March. Now I'm going to have to try and get enough
comp time to cover my days away and they are getting
stricter on letting you do that.





KatieBPea
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Posted: 11/19/2013 2:56:55 PM
Take the time and don't feel a moment's guilt.


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