Travel bags are packed and your family vacation is just days away. But what happens when your new employer asks you to cancel your trip and work instead? There are many ways travelers can protect themselves against the unexpected, but your job security could be at stake if you deny your boss' request.
Check Vacation Policy
Employers have the upper hand when it comes to your vacation plans. An employee can be fired for refusing to work, although few bosses would choose to get rid of a worker over vacation plans, says employment attorney John J. Myers of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott in "The Wall Street Journal." Companies should have vacation policies that are clear and easy to understand. The Massachusetts Attorney General website encourages employees to sign copies of an employment policy to acknowledge understanding of the policy before booking a vacation.
Try to Negotiate
If you prefer to stick with your travel plans despite your new employer's request, do your research before discussing the matter. Negotiating time off from work can take planning. Consider requesting a meeting with your employer or human resources representative to discuss any options that would help you keep your vacation intact while meeting the demands of a new job. If you just got hired, you could ask to push back a start date or offer to work remotely by phone or email during your vacation. Some employers are willing to compromise. If that doesn't appear a possibility, you may want to agree to put your travel plans on hold.
Accommodate the Boss
Although rescheduling a planned trip can be frustrating and disappointing, most tend to accommodate the demands of their boss for fear of losing a job or future promotion. In fact, more Americans are willing to adjust or postpone their vacation time due to an insecure job market, according to a Harris Interactive study conducted on behalf of JetBlue Airways. The study, conducted in November 2011, found that many workers have unused vacation time at the end of the year. The survey also showed that almost 40 percent have reservations about asking their supervisor for a vacation.
Protect Your Investment
If you anticipate a work conflict may put your travel plans in jeopardy, consider purchasing travel insurance ahead of time. Many plans can provide trip cancellation protection for work-related reasons, says CEO Jim Grace of insuremytrip.com. There are some time restrictions on when this coverage would be available, so consult an insurance representative before booking a trip.
- Los Angeles Times: Worker Fired for Vacation May Have A Case
- CNN: Fear of Vacation
- Attorney General of Massachusetts: Advisory on Vacation Policies
- Business News Daily: Afraid of Vacation
- Jet Blue: More Than Half of Americans Leave an Average of 11 Vacation Days
- Harris Interactive
- Insure My Trip: Cancel For Work Reason
A television news personality and journalist who is a regular contributor to morning news circuit. A former reporter with ABC 6 and WPRI-TV who has appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel and Good Morning America.