I can take vacation, but only when my work is done

by Evil HR Lady on February 7, 2013

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I am a salaried employee that works in monthly cycles. I have a set amount of work that must get done in 1 month time frames. My company is telling our department that in order to take time off, we need to get the work done on our own time. I am a healthcare professional so getting the work done in half the time is not a safe option for patients. If I take 1 week off, I have to squeeze those days into my weekends and evenings.

How can they claim to be giving me paid time off when I must work weekends/evenings to get the work done? I still put in the same amount of time just on different days. Obviously this is unsafe for our patients, but do we have any legal standing to ask for coverage?

To read the answer click here: I can take vacation, but only when my work is done (MoneyWatch)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Not Me February 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I think that your employer’s demands are reasonable. I also have to get all of my work done when I go on vacation. I have to be caught up before I leave and then I have to do the work that accumulated in my absence when I return. The only alternative would be for someone else to get paid to do it and that is not an option at my place of work. If I take off on Mon, Tues, and Weds then I’ll probably end up working Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sun to make up for it. Your employer is giving you time away from work and you are getting paid for it. In order to get that time off, you have to make sure your work is still done while you are away. I think the only people who don’t have to deal with this are people in jobs where someone else can perform their duties while they are away.

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Evil HR Lady February 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

I fully disagree. When you get a job offer, it generally states, “salary $X and 2 weeks vacation.” That means, for two weeks worth of time you shouldn’t have to work. It’s part of the conditions of the job.

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EngineerGirl February 9, 2013 at 9:26 am

If the employer isn’t allowing for vacation it means that they aren’t scheduling things correctly so that the loading is balanced. If an employer offers me X dollars with 2 weeks of vacation they are actually only scheduling me to work 50 weeks a year. The schedule should reflect that.

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Dean February 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm

If you have to make up the time it’s not vacation, it’s just flex time. It’s not exactly fair for the employer to offer you 2 weeks of vacation but still expect you to put in 52 weeks a year. Heck, why don’t they offer 10 or 20 weeks of vacation: it doesn’t really matter if you can’t ever take it.

Legally the OP doesn’t have any recourse, but if I were in her shoes I’d be looking for another employer who respects the need for time off.

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Evil HR Lady February 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

I would be looking for another employer as well.

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