Can your employer deny a request for time off?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2020 | Employee Rights |

You may have found that your employer has gone down to a skeleton crew lately. With the poor economy, it makes sense that some people have been laid off or that hours have been reduced.

The trouble with running on a skeleton crew is that it’s hard to get time off. Managing working constantly can be exhausting, especially if you’re picking up new tasks or have to cover for others who are out.

Recently, you mentioned wanting to take time off, and your boss told you there was no way that could happen. It’s true that your employer has a right to deny your vacation request or a personal day off, but they do have to give you a reasonable answer as to why. If they cannot give you a reason, then you may be in a position to make a claim for the unfair denial.

What should you do if your vacation time is denied?

If your vacation time is denied, it’s reasonable to ask why. Your employer should be able to say why. If you want to make a counterargument to the denial, bring documentation of the hours you’ve recently covered for others or a special event that’s coming up that you can’t miss. Time off for things like medical appointments, surgeries, funerals and other major events is normally granted. If it wasn’t, you may need to go to the human resources department to make a complaint.

Ask the human resources department for more information on why your time off was denied. If time off is needed for something you absolutely cannot miss, explain that to your HR representative. Your employer may have misunderstood the reason for the time off.

You can also check to see if your time off falls under the Family Medical Leave Act. If it does, then your employer may not be able to deny the time off. To qualify for the FMLA, you will need to show that you’ve worked at your current place of employment for at least 12 months before your request and have worked over 1,250 hours during that time.

Overall, employers may or may not have the right to deny your time off. If you’re questioning their decision, you may want to reach out to your attorney for clarification.

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