Question: An employee has put in a request for a 4-week vacation even though our policy only allows 2
weeks off to be taken at a time. Do I need to approve it?
Answer: When deciding to approve or deny a time off request you should look at your policy, past precedent,
and the circumstances of the particular situation. For example, you may not approve an extended
vacation for a new employee but may choose to do so for an employee who has been with you for
If the request for time off is actually for a health-related reason which may be protected under laws
such as ADA or state disability, you may need to approve the time off.
However, if the employee does not provide any protected reason, you do not have to offer more than
your policy or what you have done in the past in a similar situation. If your policy is to approve 2 weeks,
you can explain that you are not able to guarantee they will have a job to return to if they take more
You also should consider the impacts if you let the employee effectively resign. Will you be able to fill
that position and get a new employee up to speed in that period of time? Or would it be easier to just
manage for a couple of extra weeks?
Of course, whatever you do, you will be setting a precedent for future employees who may want to
stretch their time off for personal reasons.