The last job I had was beginning to enact what they called a "Vacation Quotient". In their words, an employee's Vacation Quotient was the average number of hours you took off for vacation divided by the average hours you worked over a 90-day period (about 12 weeks).

So, if you worked 40 hours each week (12*40 = 480 hours), but took off 3 days for vacation (3*8 = 24 hours), your Vacation Quotient would be 24 ÷ 480 = 0.05.

The maximum Vacation Quotient you could have was 0.1, at which point management wouldn't allow you to take any more vacation unless you worked more hours or didn't take any vacation for a while.

This wasn't in the employee handbook when I was there, so I and others thought it was a rumor/joke, but alas, it wasn't. How common is such a thing? Also, I don't work there anymore so I don't know if it worked out for them.

  • It's common for management to be creative (if shortsighted) about getting more work out of their employees.
    – Aaron Hall
    May 24, 2016 at 20:13
  • If you are in the US, that is a BIG-BIG violation of labor laws. Vacation days are vacation days and there should be no expectation of compensating for them explicit or implied. If you are not in the US, I suggest you refer to your jurisdiction's labor laws. On the other hand, if you are talking about Managed Time Off, aka MTO or PTO, that is a different story. You get a certain amount of time credit in your vacation bucket for every hour you actively work for the company, but not as overtime. And there is a cap amount for those earned vacation hours. I am not clear what you are asking
    – MelBurslan
    May 24, 2016 at 20:13
  • 3
    That appears functionally equivalent to "you get 1 hour of vacation for every 10 hours you put in" which seems pretty reasonable. If you put in 2000 hours a year (50 full time weeks at 40 hours/week), that's 200 vacation hours which 25 days (5 weeks off). That's pretty darn generous. May 24, 2016 at 20:14
  • 5
    Where in your question does it say anything about making up time by forced overtime? Your title doesn't seem to match the question contents. May 24, 2016 at 20:23
  • 1
    Seems perfectly legitimate to me. May 24, 2016 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


As WorkerDrone says, your title doesn't match the content of your question.

Ignoring the title, just reading the text of the question, the company seems very generous to me. They put a limit on how many vacation days you can take per quarter. Is this limit in addition to a limit on total vacation for the year, or is this the only limit? Because if this is the only limit, your company gives way more vacation time than most US companies. Most companies I've worked for give employees 2 to 4 weeks of vacation time. So that's 10 to 20 days, out of 260 working days in a year (depending on where weekends and holidays fall and if it's a leap year, etc), that would come out to an equivalent "vacation quotient" of 10 / 250 = .04 to 20 / 240 = .08. A VQ of .1 would be equivalent to 23.6 vacation days a year, more than I've ever gotten. I understand Europeans typically get more vacation time than Americans. If you're in Europe this may be low.

What do you consider reasonable? Surely you don't think you should be able to take as much vacation time as you want, like work 1 day, then take the rest of the year off. Is it that you think 0.1 is too low? Or that it should be annual rather than quarterly? Or what?

To those saying this violates labor laws, well, I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how. I'm not aware of any law that says that a company has to let you take your vacation whenever you want it. Every job I've had, you request certain vacation days and then the company approves or disapproves based on work schedules. In practice it's very rare for a company to tell me no. The only time I recall there being a problem is time around Christmas, when everyone is taking off, and they want some minimal number of people to come in. Usually whoever requests time first gets priority. Now if the company said you get X weeks of vacation per year but then played games and NEVER let you take it, I could see that being an issue. But nothing in your question indicates that. They're just making you wait until the next quarter.

  • Yeah you're right I guess May 24, 2016 at 21:05
  • If you're in Europe this may be low - that's less than 5 days under the legal minimum in the UK and higher than I expected for the US (And 7.5 days higher than Canada). Seems pretty good tbh.
    – iamgory
    May 25, 2016 at 14:54

It seems they are arbitrarily limiting you to six days of holidays during any 90 days period. Which doesn't seem bad for US standards (while in more civilised countries this is less than employee's holiday entitlement), but it doesn't even allow you to take 3 days holiday now, and another 4 days holiday twelve weeks from now, but it allows you to take 6 days holiday now, and another 6 days holiday thirteen weeks from now.

I can't say anything about the legality, but it seems an arbitrary and pointless restriction. I cannot even see any business reason for it. Somebody in HR at that company must hate their employees, that's the only conclusion that I can draw.

  • "Somebody in HR at that company must hate their employees...". That explains so much in the workplace, doesn't it? May 24, 2016 at 22:16
  • It seems to be rather hostile towards employees with families. This system would make it impossible to use your leave for one or two longer holidays that coincide with school holidays, for example. May 24, 2016 at 23:55

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