Actually, your employer can do this. The fact is that vacation time (or PTO and sick days) is not legally mandated to be given to an employees; it is a discretionary benefit. Consequently, in the majority of states, an employer has a say in when and under what conditions vacation time may/must taken.
As a general rule, unless there is a union agreement, an employment contract, or specific company policy to the contrary, or actionable discrimination is a factor in an employee's treatment, an employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace as it deems fit.
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