My Boss Won’t Let Me Take My Honeymoon!

Dear Work Coach,

When I started my job 3 1/2 months ago I knew I was getting married out of the area in June, which is now in 2 weeks. I made this clear upon hire and even submitted a written letter stating the dates I would be gone (14 days) and the reason why. These dates were cleared and are even reflected upon in my original paperwork.

Since then we have had high turnover and are somewhat short staffed. My boss left a message on my phone last night saying that he had to schedule me during my ‘vacation’ and I would need to work during this time. I simply cannot work during this time as we have flight and hotel reservations 2,000 miles away!

What should I do?



Dear G,

First to the good part…congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I wish you a lifetime of happiness with your new husband.

And now to the not-so-easy part. I strongly dislike that he left this as a message rather than telling you in person. Obviously he knows it’s not the right thing to do – even though he feels for the sake of his business he has to do it.

I hope other people offer their opinions since there may be some better options than the ones I can think of at the moment. But here goes…

  • First, I would meet with him eye-to-eye and explain politely that you wish you could help and really understand why he felt he needs to ask you to work during your scheduled honeymoon, but he agreed in writing when you were hired to give you this time and you’ve already paid for everything. Maybe he’s just hoping you’ll say yes and not put up any resistance. You can even offer to ask co-workers to pitch in and help make up the slack. Maybe they would.
  • If he says he’s sorry but still needs to schedule you, then I guess, if you are willing to reschedule, you could ask him to compensate you for your losses, since you went ahead and paid for everything relying on what he had agreed to. (Reliance is a legal term by the way, and, although he has the right to ask you to work, if you do and lose money, that may be actionable in small claims court. Of course, he could then just fire you, but I figure you should at least know of the concept.)
  • If this job means a lot to you and he is unwilling to bend at all, then think long and hard about what it would be like to work for him in the long-term. Is this really the job you want to invest any more time in? I know jobs are hard to come by, so I don’t say this lightly, but if he really won’t bend and has clearly gone back on what he promised, then can you afford to let the job go? Will he go back on promised raises too? Or other time off when you need it?
  • If you can’t afford to let this job go and he won’t bend at all, then your best bet is to see how much you can get back on the money you already committed. Is the amount lost worth it to keep this job? Maybe it is if this is a truly great job.But will you ever be able to take a honeymoon or vacation of any kind? I imagine your husband-to-be also had to get his schedule cleared, so I know rescheduling might be tough. And once again, can you count on that if your boss can just schedule you during time off whenever he wants? (Assuming he shows no give, of course.) I know some businesses have to do that, but is that something you can live with? And this is your honeymoon, after all. 🙂

I’m really hoping that, if you meet with your boss, he can see a way to get other people to fill in for you and let you have the “vacation” you deserve. If not, I’m afraid you have a tough decision to make. So sorry this is happening in connection with something so joyous. But I’m a firm believer that sometimes things happen for a reason. This may show you whether this is a job you want to stay with after all.

Good luck figuring out the right course of action for YOU. And if anyone else has advice, please help G!

I have my fingers crossed hoping your boss is actually a pretty good guy and things turn out well for you and your fiance. Please let us know!

Ronnie Ann


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Lots of clearheaded options, Ronnie Ann, in a clearly tough situation. First, let me echo the congratulations on your upcoming wedding, G!

    Without knowing what your job is or the business is, it’s hard to suggest any more alternatives. Is it at all possible to get a temp in? If not to fill in for you, then to free someone up to do what you do?

    If you do end up rescheduling to help your boss out, I’m guessing it will be a case of needing the job rather than the job being an ideal one [given how the boss handled informing you of the situation and the fact that there’s been a lot of turnover]. If that is indeed the case, I would quietly start looking for another job immediately. You don’t need this.

  2. Terry B! Thanks for the great comment. You always have a way of adding sound advice to any situation. Much appreciated.

    Ronnie Ann

  3. Hi, WORK COACH!!! 🙂

    love all your answers here>>>so MUCH wisdom!

  4. Hi Grace! Good to see you. Thanks so much, girlfriend. Hope all is well in your wise and wondrous world. I’ll stop by soon.

    Ronnie Ann

  5. epic eye roll says:

    LOTS of people around the world do not have money to feed their children, pay for the roof over their heads, and scramble every single month to pay for the bare essentials. Just because you decided to spend your life with the person you love you think you are somehow entitled to a 3, 5, or 7 day exotic vacation? Please. Get over yourself and start being responsible with your money.

    • Journalizer says:

      @epic eye roll

      Sounds like you are a bitter person. There are always people better off and worse off. Wanting to go on your honeymoon doesn’t make someone irresponsible. Think of all the people in the hospitality industry who would lose their jobs if people didn’t vacation. The boss gave his word and then broke it. He should have been man enough to at least apologize for breaking his word and talk to her in person.

    • This is what I did when my employer wouldn’t let me take scheduled vacation time: saved money and quit. No job is worth someone who can’t keep their word.

      A job is a mutual exchange 0f services for pay. It is one person providing services for another to improve their business and being paid for it. It isn’t a charity, a hand-out, or a freebie (despite the fact that US employers want you to believe that).

      Anyone who gets paid a salary deserves paid time off. That’s in exchange for unpaid work hours and overtime. I stuck to my principles and quit. Then my employer ended up not only losing my services, but also ended up having to pay me for my vacation time anyway (which I took).

      I dug myself out of the inane concept of “you’re lucky to have a job” this country has and put myself in a situation where I was no longer financially dependent on a job. The company went out of business within a year after I left. Turns out, they were lucky to have me 🙂

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