The short answer is “yes” in a non-union workplace. In a union workplace, the answer is generally “no,” unless the rationale for doing so meets some strict criteria.
When no union represents their interests, supervisors can cancel already-approved time off, leaving workers on their own trying to get that money back for non-refundable payments for airfare and accommodations.
U.S. employers are not required to provide vacation to workers under federal law or in most states. And while employers are technically obligated to honor vacation that is promised as part of hiring terms or in an employee handbook, things don’t always work out that way in practice.
What can you do if your boss won’t let you take vacation time? Most employees have few options beyond threatening to quit.
CAN MY BOSS CANCEL MY VACATION?
But union workers have a contract that protects them and their time off.
In fact, the News Media Guild contracts with the Associated Press spell out in detail how much vacation employees are entitled to – up to five weeks for long-term staffers – how it must be scheduled, and when it might be canceled.
The only time an approved vacation may be taken off the calendar or cut short, for example, is “to meet bona fide news or staffing emergencies resulting from unforeseeable and extraordinary news developments.” And in those cases, lost deposits or payments resulting from those cancellations are covered by the company.
The contract also protects other time off, such as holidays. And staffers who must work on one of the eight holidays listed in the contract automatically get holiday pay – time and a half – for their shift.
Protecting important and hard-won benefits like vacation and holiday time is just one of the things that the News Media Guild does for our members.
Join today, and help make the Guild even stronger!