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When Do I Have to Pay Out Leave?

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Question: If an employee quits prior to using all of their accrued vacation time, am I required to pay them for the accrued time if requested? How about if the employee is fired for cause and has accrued unused vacation pay?

Answer: Generally this is outlined either in an employee manual, or at some point at the time of hire), the answer to both your questions below is in the affirmative. Yes, even if your employee quits before using all of his or her accrued vacation time, you are required to pay him or her for that time; and yes, even if an employee is fired for cause you still must pay him or her for any accrued but not used vacation time.

This response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, nor is this column a substitute for formal legal assistance. For help with particular legal needs, members are invited to consult with ACCA’s LegalTools Counsel, Brooke Duncan III of Adams and Reese LLP. Mr. Duncan can be reached at 504-585-0220 or by email at

Brooke Duncan

Posted In: Legal

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