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I'm having trouble collecting travel and vacation pay owed to me the agency I work for and have not been given any work. What can I do, other than quit?

Wednesday January 23, 2013
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Dear Nancy,

I have been working as a nurse educator at a home care agency for the past two years. Since I completed my masterís degree, my manager has been constantly trying to find fault with me and belittle me. I put in for travel time and was told I could only get this yearís travel, not last yearís, which was earnings due to me. I have two weeks of vacation pay owed to me. I have not been given any work by the agency. They said it is because of a PPD. They said I could possibly put in for the vacation time, but I will not be given my two weeks because that has been denied. I have worked here two years and have only taken one sick day. After working for a year, arenít I entitled to my vacation pay? Why would it be held back? Other than quit, what can I do?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Kendra,

It is a little unclear what exactly is going on in your employment setting. One thing is clear: Earned benefits, such as vacation time and travel time, which are regulated by the facilityís policy, should be paid to you pursuant to the state's employment requirements. Rather than quit, you may need to discuss this issue with a nurse attorney or attorney who works with employees and can provide you with the specific advice you need to get your earned vacation time and your travel time.

It is assumed that the PPD you refer to is the tuberculosis skin test, which must have appeared to test positive. As you know, an employer has an interest in ensuring that his staff and patients are not exposed to TB. However, some positive tests are not truly positive and may be an indication of another health-related issue. The employer should be following up with you concerning any requirements you might need to ensure your health. You can read about the PPD test at medicinenet.com/tuberculosis_skin_test_ppd_skin_test/article.htm .

Tell your attorney that the PPD issue is something you are concerned about too. You need to know if the employer is punishing you or discriminating against you due to the positive PPD.


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.