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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Does my employer have to pay my holiday pay when I leave?

Generally, you are entitled to all benefits you earned during the course of your employment. To fully answer this question, though, we would need to see what the employment handbook reads. While the employment handbook does not trump VA law, it can explain what the employer is contemplating.

However, in answer to your question, the code section in question is VA Code 40.1-29. While the employer is not required to pay holiday, personal, or sick days, once they agree to do so as part of your employment package, it becomes part of your wages.

A. 1. All employers operating a business shall establish regular pay periods and rates of pay for employees except executive personnel. All such employers shall pay salaried employees at least once each month and employees paid on an hourly rate at least once every two weeks or twice in each month... Upon termination of employment an employee shall be paid all wages or salaries due him for work performed prior thereto; such payment shall be made on or before the date on which he would have been paid for such work had his employment not been terminated. (VA Code 40.1-29(A)(2))

If the employer violates the law in this regard, you can report them to the Department of Labor and have Richmond enforce the provisions. See:

2. Any such employer who knowingly fails to make payment of wages in accordance with this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. The Commissioner shall notify any employer who he alleges has violated any provision of this section by certified mail. Such notice shall contain a description of the alleged violation. Within 15 days of receipt of notice of the alleged violation, the employer may request an informal conference regarding such violation with the Commissioner. In determining the amount of any penalty to be imposed, the Commissioner shall consider the size of the business of the employer charged and the gravity of the violation. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final. (VA Code 40.1-29(A)(2))

Finally, you too can be paid (not just fines against the employer!). See:
G. In addition to being subject to any other penalty provided by the provisions of this section, any employer who fails to make payment of wages in accordance with subsection A shall be liable for the payment of all wages due, plus interest at an annual rate of eight percent accruing from the date the wages were due. (VA Code 40.1-29(G))

A general discussion on the topic can be found at Note, that offering fringe benefits is NOT required under VA Law. However, once given, they become a part of the compensation package. This is one reason we would need to analyze the employee handbook.

Questions? Give us a ring! While the cost of representing you for just a few days of pay may not be worthwhile, we would welcome any referrals to anyone that might need legal help with pay matters in VA, DC, or MD. 1-800-579-9864.

Hanover Law, PC
Offices in Fairfax, VA and Washington, DC
888 16th St., NW Ste 800
Washington, DC 20006
2751 Prosperity Ave, Ste 580
Fairfax, VA 22031
Sean R. Hanover, Esq.
Stephen Salwierak, Esq.
1-800-579-9864 Charles Hatley, Esq.
Leigh Snyder, Esq.

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