On February 18, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed into law House Bill 79, which reverses a long-held position of the Wyoming Attorney General’s office on the requirement for employers to pay to employees’ accrued, unused vacation time upon separation from employment. The new law provides that vacation leave accrued as of the date of termination is not wages under Wyoming law, “if the written policies of the employer provide that accrued vacation is forfeited upon termination of employment and the written policies are acknowledged in writing by the employee.”
This means that Wyoming employers who have a clear policy stating employees lose all accrued vacation upon termination of employment are no longer obligated to pay out accrued, unused vacation time upon termination. This policy must be in writing, and it must be acknowledged in writing by each employee. The policy may be included in an employee handbook, and a general handbook acknowledgement signed by the employee will be sufficient for this requirement. This new law is effective July 1, 2013.