Let's assume an employer has a use-it-or-lose-it vacation policy that allows employees to carry over 40 hours of vacation time from one year to the next. An employee ends the year with 60 hours of accrued vacation, and thus loses 20 of those hours. Given that Massachusetts law considers vacation time wages, and other circumstances require paying out those hours as if they were time worked (for example, on termination of employment), is the company obligated to pay out the hours lost to the use-it-or-lose-it policy?
Assume the employee in question was not prevented from taking vacation; they could have, but chose not to.
(reposted here as requested from workplace.stackexchange)