How is this theft? They are ALLOWING HIM TO USE VACATION HE HASNT EARNED YET with the theory being that he will be there for many years to come and it wont matter. There is only a 10% turnover rate in the LTL industry, so any given driver SHOULD be there for a minimum of 9 years on average.
If he uses it BEFORE HE HAS EARNED IT, and then leaves the company, it would be HIM STEALING FROM THE COMPANY, not the company stealing from him!! He took something he didnt have coming. So they take it back. Its really pretty simple. Really.
Its like me promising to pay you 100 bonus dollars if you work for me for 2 weeks, but I will let you have that 100 dollars today so you can buy something to eat, gas, get your car fixed, whatever. If you quit before the 2 weeks is up, then YOU owe ME that 100 dollars because you didnt fulfill your part of the agreement, and I will deduct it from your check. You took it already when you didnt have it coming, so if you dont give it back it is YOU that is stealing. Got it?
And yes, they can get it back even if your last check isnt big enough to pay it all. They have direct deposit (your bank info), your SSN, and any other personal data a collection agency needs to collect. All they need is a judgement from a court (which in this case is a formality) - which YOU will get the bill for (atty fees and court costs). So trying to close your account to try to hide the few hundred bucks you are trying to hide from them will only cost YOU more in the long run.