Help - your thoughts on how to make vacation requests fair at work

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Posted 5/1/2013 by njoyscrappin in NSBR Board
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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 33,199
March 2002
Posts: 8,299
Layouts: 15
Loc: Southern California

Posted: 5/1/2013 6:54:49 PM
From January 1st to April 1st, seniority rules. After that date, first come, first served.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
Posts: 5,850
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Posted: 5/1/2013 8:15:46 PM
We use the seniority rule, but by department. We also have prime vacation days which would be the day before or after a holiday. You can only choose one of those per year. Same with the major holidays, you pick one per year. If its Christmas this year, it wont be the next. You have to rotate.

The rest of your time can be whenever as long as the staffing needs are met.
It's the sorest way so that everyone gets treated equal.


PeaNut 365,020
March 2008
Posts: 1,514
Layouts: 4

Posted: 5/1/2013 9:03:02 PM
I am sure this isn't the response you wanted. LOL. Do what we did. We are not admins and many of us could pull the seniority card. We all sat down, as adults , and looked over the holiday schedule. I will be working Memorial Day and Christmas. It works for me. Seniority didn't play a part in our schedule. We found out we each had different needs. You might want to try talking with your co-workers. You might find that you can work it out without involving HR, you can resolve it as adults.

I wish you luck.

"This, my dear, is the wild, wild west of Message Boards. No boundaries, and we don't stop for the fallen or injured. Get a helmet and buckle up." Petesmom 6/5/10


PeaNut 61,309
January 2003
Posts: 2,197
Layouts: 367

Posted: 5/1/2013 9:22:47 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I am passing this on to the two senior admins (my friends) as they are the ones affected. They were told in their meeting this morning to come back with some suggestions on how to handle this and you guys have given plenty of food for thought.

I see all sides. However, the way I see it also (I've also been at this same company for about 19 years, just now in a different dept, not one of the admin assistants anymore so this doesn't really affect me anymore) it's very disheartening to have those types of "perks" taken away from you, especially when there aren't a lot of perks to begin with. If you are newer and lower on the totem pole, then suck it up and do your time like the others who have committed so many years to this company and have earned that privilege. It shouldn't be given to others just because of who they work for and those who complain the most about everything, and do the least amount of work. It's a hard pill to swallow when you know it's going to change no matter what you say. All of your replies are good for thought for my friends.


PeaNut 370,270
April 2008
Posts: 3,076
Layouts: 22

Posted: 5/1/2013 9:41:14 PM
I worked somewhere for 8 years where I could never have certain times off because of seniority. It's really unfair to know that no matter how hard you work or what you do, someone that's got 20 years on you will ALWAYS get the desirable days off. It sucks.

I think the only real fair way to do it is to rotate. Person A gets xmas this year, Person B next year, etc.

Michelle Rae

PeaNut 11,947
March 2001
Posts: 1,852
Layouts: 23

Posted: 5/1/2013 9:46:18 PM
I've always been at the bottom if the list until now. Im at the top.

So for 20+years I never got a holiday week off ever. For 10 years the same people got the same good holidays off at one place I worked. While they were off not only did I get to work but I got to do their work too. Two of them loved and I mean loved to rub it in the entire year that they always got the holidays off.

Now it's my turn to be the biatch. I've earned it. I'm # 1 in seniority. No one can do anything about it. Nobody but me that is.

I know how I felt towards people that made every holiday crappy work wise for me.

I am finally in control where I work of the work enviroment. And when I tell you I've had some horrific working environments I am telling you that at least one could be made into a movie. At least a life time movie.

I have a new boss that treats me with respect. A new boss that expects me to do my job and do it well but knows that I am human.

I have a co-worker that started in January but I worked with her at another company for 8 years about 15 years ago

We just had a conversation the other day. We both came from absolutely positively the most awful work environments you can imagine. I told her that we finally can be in control of the climate our office. We can make it a place we dread coming to every day or a place where we enjoy coming to work. We finally have the opportunity to be the ones responsible for making sure everyone is treated with respect and fairly. We both work hard and we both are good people.

This year I am taking the holidays. July 4th week, thanksgiving and a couple days after Christmas holiday. We both get the week of Christmas paid. She can't take any vacation until August so she couldn't take the week of July anyhow.

But next year I'm offering to choose one week and then out of courtesy asking her what week she would like to take. That way she has second choice but being there are only 2 of us she still has all of the other holiday weeks to choose from. Again we both get about 12 days off for Christmas.

Do I have to do this? No. But I sure wish someone would have offered me this. I think it will ensure she doesn't resent me or my vacation.

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PeaNut 365,020
March 2008
Posts: 1,514
Layouts: 4

Posted: 5/1/2013 10:20:41 PM
Another unpopular opinion. During the length of employment of the individuals, were
they not paid a fair salary and benefits? When the young "whipper snappers" entered the job market, they really started a dialog about, " What is job loyalty?". The generation we see now, are not job loyal. They look at each job as "a stepping stone to my next job". Your employer owes you nothing other than a salary, and stated benefits for hours performed. I find it hard to reconcile but it is the new reality. You can quit..and we have the right to terminate your employment for any reason, in many states with "right to work" laws.

Seniority. Is a passe' union term. In my experience, unions also have been open to to "fairness" , not based on seniority.

Best of luck to you and your co-workers. I think if you sit down together, you can work it out together.

"This, my dear, is the wild, wild west of Message Boards. No boundaries, and we don't stop for the fallen or injured. Get a helmet and buckle up." Petesmom 6/5/10


PeaNut 339,632
September 2007
Posts: 216
Layouts: 38
Loc: Ontario, ca

Posted: 5/2/2013 2:03:11 AM
We go by seniority however you only pick one week at a time and then the vacation schedule moves to the next person... We do this at the beginning of the year!! I work with someone who has been with the company 42 years she gets 6 weeks off!!!
But this makes it fair! And everyone has a chance to take a holiday off!! Up to 2
people off the same week! We have about 11 people on our team!!! But there are 4 teams that do the same function!

A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight...
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PeaNut 288,074
December 2006
Posts: 4,556
Layouts: 0

Posted: 5/2/2013 4:56:53 AM
We do rotation. For example if I have 4 employees and only 2 can be gone at the same time...if employees A & B had off last year, then C & D get to have off this year.

However, you can have Thanksgiving or Christmas. So this year, since C & D get to take Christmas week, then they can't take Thanksgiving but A & B get to have Thanksgiving week.

It just seems more fair. I agrees that going by seniority is not the best method.

If conflicts occur other times (than the holiday weeks) first pick goes to whoever turned in the leave request first (first come, first serve)

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PeaNut 87,007
May 2003
Posts: 3,339
Layouts: 18
Loc: QLD, Australia

Posted: 5/2/2013 5:38:40 AM
I think people should alternate. Those that had a certain holiday off one year, should not get it off the next if other people want that time the next year.

At my work (there's 4 of us), three of us discussed it during lunch. The fourth hadn't been hired yet. We decided that since the rest of us did not have young children (the 4th doesn't either), the one that did could get first pick of holidays. Generally, people choose school holiday time to save on extra daycare fees and to spend time with them.

I think our work has the week of Christmas-New year off, otherwise it's super quiet. In my industry, there's just not much happening at that time of year. It's easy to take some time off without issue. We also get plenty of public holidays so it's usually just the school holidays that people fight over. Even if we were working through Christmas (hard with so many public holidays though!), I'd opt to work so my colleagues could spend time with their kids.

ETA: I should add that we all started this job at the same time since it was a bunch of new offices opening up. Seniority wouldn't work with us. We've also been told a number of times our respective positions in the office are equal - and we abide by that. The other co-worker has older kids so I'd give her the next option of holidays if it came down to it. The other person has grown step-children who have their own families so I would take that into consideration (as would the others) if there was an issue with holidays. We all get 4 weeks off per year for holidays, plus sick and personal time so it's not really a problem. We can also make up the time if it's pre-approved and actually BUY holidays in advance. We can opt to take longer time off (than the 4 weeks for a specific reason like a holiday somewhere) and take a small cut in pay in advance to cover that extra time off. It equates to extra time off with no pay - except you're getting an income during that time since it's been pre-paid for. That's a little off topic sorry - it's all just to say that holidays don't seem to be a huge fight with my small office. It probably wouldn't work for somewhere larger.



PeaNut 286,312
December 2006
Posts: 1,934
Layouts: 17

Posted: 5/2/2013 5:58:02 AM
For hoildays where we want exrta days it works on who gives in the paper frist...some give it in a year ahead of time

Vacation time is hard to say it works on a few things. Who was hired frist/ hrs worked that year/ paid vacation time remaining/ full time vs subbing.

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