My husband was fired March 25 without notice. They were “restructuring”. My husband was due to start his vacation the day after – on March 26. Nothing like trying to figure out if you qualify for food stamps to get you in that vacation mode!!
My question is – He had 200 hrs. of PTO and now they say “It is not our policy to pay PTO”. Is there any recourse to get that PTO??!!
If you live in California, my understanding is yes, they have to give it to you. If you live elsewhere–well, no. (Unless there is another state like CA, feel free to chime in if you know about one.)
Here’s the thing about working in the good ol’ US of A. Vacation and paid time off programs are not mandatory and except in a few circumstances, you are an “at will” employee, which means you can be terminated at any time. Severance is only mandated by law in a few cases. (Like, for instance, if a site is shut down without at least 60 days notice.)
So, basically, no. Decisions to pay out unused vacation is up to company policy. Depending on how the original offer letter was written, you may be able to raise a ruckus about it, but I doubt you’d get anywhere.
Job losses stink, but truly they are not uncommon and most people recover rapidly. One of the things that I always find fascinating is when we train managers on how to notify someone that his position is being eliminated. I always ask if they’ve done this before. More often than not, the manager will say, “well, I’ve been on the other side of the desk before.”
I realize this isn’t helpful. But, know you are not alone.
Do make a phone call and ask for the written policy, though. If such a thing doesn’t exist, it might freak them out enough to pay you. Not likely, but worth a shot.
Just remember–be nice. Do not burn any bridges. And make sure your husband (the affected person) is the one to call in. I hate it when spouses call for anything other than, “my husband/wife is in the hospital. How do I initiate a leave of absence for him/her?” My first thought–especially when it is the spouse of a terminated employee calling–is “this is why we fired your spouse in the first place. He obviously couldn’t take care of himself.” Yes, yes, I know I’m making all sorts of assumptions. Just a little piece of info from the mind of HR.