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In California, Is it legal to be fired for taking a Vacation?

For many of us, our summer vacation is the most important time of the year. It doesn’t matter where you go, just as long as you can get away from the stress of everyday life. Yet for some Californians, they have never had that time away to take a vacation. The reasons- for some their finances won’t allow it, for others they don’t have paid vacation days.

There is no law that requires employers to give employees a paid vacation.

Yes, and in fact some companies have terminated workers if they take trips at inopportune times. Most employers won’t fire employees who take a vacation — but it can happen, particularly in the California, where the majority of non-union employees are freelancers or at-will, which means that you can be fired for any reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason, such your;  gender or race.

According to our experts at KJT Law Group-, there are some situations where an employer cannot fire an employee for taking leave. For example, under (FMLA) the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave for their own medical issues or to take care of an immediate family member. Employers must allow employees to use their paid sick and vacation time first before going on unpaid leave.

Plus, if you, as an employee, are under contract — (union workers, CEO’s, specialized employees, etc), you may be protected. Your contracts should state that you are entitled to vacation time. Likewise, if an employer has an accepted vacation policy, it will be considered an employee welfare benefit plan covered under (ERISA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. If any of these instances pertain to you, it is most probably illegal to retaliate against you for exercising your rights.

Understand your rights as an employee

If you are not certain about your vacation rights, consult an employment lawyer, especially if your employer has terminated you illegally retaliated against you, or otherwise treated you unfairly.


Working with a professional who understands the complexities associated with employment law will improve the chances of you being protected. Let the professionals at KJT LAW GROUP help. Call us at (818) 507-8525 or contact us for a free consultation.

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