Is it legal to take away vacation time for not completing ridiculous mandatory overtime requirements?

My wife is with a company that has mandatory overtime requirements of 8-10 hours per week on a consistent basis. It seems to me they are just avoiding investing in more employees to cover the work they need. She runs herself ragged trying to complete the mandatory overtime, which she always does. NOW they are telling her that if she does not fullfill the mandatory overtime, they are going to dock her vacation time. What is to keep the company from simply requiring 30 hours of overtime, and absorbing everyone's vacation time? This does not seem legal. Is it?

The company is LabCorp.

1 answer  |  asked Oct 27, 2015 10:05 AM [EST]  |  applies to North Carolina

Answers (1)

Reagan Weaver
A company has the right to change its benefits policies prospectively. It may not change policies retroactively. Once a vacation benefit is earned then it belongs to the employee. The determination of when a benefit has been earned might get a little tricky if the policy does not spell out how/when it is earned.

My first area of concern would be whether the company was docking future vacation pay or earned vacation pay. I would question the legality of docking vacation that was already earned.

I assume that overtime is being paid . . . .

The scenario you suggest of requiring large amounts of OT that the employees could not work in order to cancel employees' vacation benefits would probably violate NC law if those benefits were already earned.

I would suggest that the company's lawyers have not approved this policy.

I am not taking new cases so if you wish to be represented, you will need to look for another lawyer and one of the other NC MEL lawyers should be able to help you.

posted by Reagan Weaver  |  Oct 27, 2015 11:22 AM [EST]

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