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When you accept a job that offers paid vacation, you may view that as part of your compensation. As you sacrifice your time and effort for your employer, you look forward to having a paid break. And when you leave your job, you expect to receive the value of vacation benefits.

However, some employers may feel they don’t have to pay out vacation if they fire you. But in California, you may have a right to your earned vacation, no matter the reason you left the company.

Vacation benefits must be fair for all employees

Employers in California don’t have to offer vacation benefits. But if they do, they must make a policy for how employees earn vacation. This policy must treat every employee equally. And once the employer creates a vacation plan, they cannot take earned benefits away from employees.

In addition to creating a fair plan, California employers must pay out all earned vacation time as wages if you leave the company. Whether your company fires you or lays you off or you give your two weeks’ notice, you should get all your vacation time paid out.

The vacation time in your last paycheck can help you through unemployment

If your employer fires you, you may go for weeks or months without a job. Receiving your wages from vacation time can help you bridge the gap between employers. And if you have a lot of vacation time built up, you don’t want to lose out on what you’ve earned.

But your employer may feel that once they fire you, they don’t have to pay out your benefits. If they don’t, they can take away money you need to pay your bills until you find another job.

Employers must pay out all earned vacation time

In California, if an employer offers vacation time, that becomes a part of your earnings. If your company doesn’t pay out for vacation after firing you, they could violate California law.