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Repay employer for too much vacation time

My employer approved my use of all vacation days in February and March, even though I technically should only accrue three per quarter. Now it is September and I am leaving the company. My employer notified me that I will have to pay them back for three days of vacation time, because I used it before I had earned it. However, it was their error to approve the use of it in the first place. It seems the employer should take on the liability for having made that decision, having taken that risk. I don't want to pay back those vacation days. Let me know if it's legal for them to demand that I do. Thanks.

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I'll guess that your employer will cast this as a situation where an employer overpaid an employee.  They will say you were mistakenly paid for taking a vacation day you did not have, and that you must now return the money.  A mistake.  The general rule in Massachusetts and other states is that employees must repay overpayment of wages.   If you follow that link, and read the other posts dealing with unauthorized paycheck deductions, however, you will see that the employer cannot simply take the money from your check, unless one of the exceptions is met, such as an undisputed pay advance.  So, your employer will likely have to sue you to collect the money.  They may decide it is not worth the effort.

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