Los Angeles Office Location
Hennig Ruiz & Singh
Not sure if you have a legal case? Call us to talk to a lawyer:
Free Consultations
One Of The Most Successful Workers' Rights Trial Law Firms In California

California Vacation Law and PTO Law: Common Questions, Answered

California Vacation Law and PTO Law Common Questions

The start of summer can bring up many questions for employees who want to take time off work for vacation, or extend their weekends to spend time with family on long summer days. But before you book that flight to Europe or head off on your family camping trip, it is always a good idea to review your company's vacation and paid time off (PTO) policy, plus understand what California vacation laws entail. This article will answer common questions regarding California's vacation and PTO laws.

Does my employer have to give me vacation time?

You may be surprised to know that your California employer is not required to give you vacation time or PTO. But when your employer does allow employees vacation time, there are certain rules they must follow under California law.

What is the difference between vacation time and PTO?

In California, PTO and vacation time are generally used interchangeably. Any time you are paid while away from work, not working, and the time off is not tied to a particular event or holiday, it is considered vacation or PTO. Your company policy may even call these days "personal days" or "floating holidays."

Can my employer take away my unused vacation time?

While most states do allow employers to revoke vacation time if it isn't used by the end of the year, California law prohibits your employer from taking away your unused vacation days. In fact, California law allows your vacation balance to roll over into the following year.

I work part-time. Is my employer allowed to exclude me from vacation pay policies?

Your California employer has the right to exclude you and other part-time employees from vacation policies that are set for full-time workers or even limit vacation time you take. However, their policy must specify exactly who is eligible for vacation and PTO.

I have accrued vacation time. Does my employer have to pay me for unused vacation?

California law states that accrued vacation is considered unpaid wages if vacation days are not used. But while you can get paid for unused vacation days, state law allows California employers to place a cap on vacation accrual.

Do companies have to pay out vacation time when you quit?

In California, accrued vacation must be paid if you lose your job by quitting or getting fired. Your employer must pay you for any unused vacation time in your final paycheck.

If you notice that your employer is not treating you fairly when it comes to taking vacation time or PTO due to a protected characteristic under the FEHA (e.g. race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, pregnancy, etc.) you may be able to file a discrimination complaint. Contact our expert California employment attorneys for a free consultation today.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super lawyers
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

What Our Clients Say About Us

  1. I needed great attorneys in a short period of time, it was an emergency situation. Some research led me to the Hennig, Ruiz & Singh. We spoke on the phone and they had me come into the office and started on my case immediately. They got me exactly what I wanted and did it in the shortest amount of time possible. They were caring, fair and extremely good at what they do. I definitely would recommend them to anyone. -Scott Rooney

  2. If you are looking for legal representation I would suggest for you to consider Hennig, Ruiz & Singh. Put succinctly, their legal team was intelligent, hard working, responsive, and very knowledgeable throughout our time working together. While I of course cannot divulge details about the assistance that the firm provided for me, I can and will say that their representation was pivotal and changed my life for the better beyond words... -Shane Guglielmo

  3. I went to this firm to have a separation letter reviewed and met a young lawyer named Janet Hong. She was extremely friendly, professional, thorough and quick. She reviewed the documentation promptly and gave me actionable advice. I was able to resolve everything quickly. I would not hesitate to recommend Janet to anyone seeking legal services. -Brendan Hagerty

Schedule a Free Consultation

Ready To Start Protecting Your Rights? Call 213-985-1305

Not Sure Whether You Need Lawyer?

Answer a few questions to see whether you have a case.
Get Started Here

Office Location

Hennig Ruiz & Singh
3600 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 1908
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Toll Free: 800-260-6542
Fax: (213) 310-8302
Map & Directions

Free Consultations

Contact Us