Recouping used but unearned vacation time (Toughest HR Question)

Allowing workers to use vacation before it’s earned can lead to complications at dismissal
By Brian Johnston
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/09/2013

Question: What can an employer do if an employee quits or is fired and has used more vacation days than she has earned to that point in the year? Can the value of the excess days be recouped?

Answer: The answer turns on whether there is an agreement between the parties for recovery of vacation days taken but not yet earned. Absent such an agreement, there is little an employer can do to recover used but unearned vacation days, at both unionized and non-unionized workplaces.