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Handling Excessive Vacation Requests During the Holidays

Q - As the holidays draw near, I have gotten lots of requests for vacation leave. Am I allowed to deny these requests?

A - While many companies have a vacation, sick, or PTO policy, there is no federal law that requires employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid time off. Therefore, assuming there are no local mandates regarding paid time off that you must adhere to, the way vacation requests are approved is ultimately up to you. Although you have the authority to deny vacation requests as you see fit, it is always best to have a clear vacation policy in the company handbook to help reduce claims of favoritism and the risk of discrimination lawsuits. The policy should specify the procedure for requesting time off, how much notice should be given, and the reasons requests may be denied. Many vacation policies will specifically state that requests may be denied during busy seasons or based upon business needs.

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