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Terminated...Should I have been given unused PTO in final check? California

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  • Terminated...Should I have been given unused PTO in final check? California

    I worked for a nonprofit organization here in California for nearly three months before I was let go due to a lack of funding. Upon termination, I was given a final check for my last day of pay, as well as mileage reimbursement. It was also pay day, so my paycheck was already in my account. Here is my question: Should I have been given a check for my accrued, but unused paid time off? My employer allows you to start accruing PTO as soon as you start working; however, you may not use it until you have been employed for 6 months. So I was accruing PTO each pay period and on the day I was terminated, I had 23.2 hours of PTO.

    From my understanding of California labor laws, once PTO begins accruing it is considered to be part of your wages and canít be revoked.

    When I confronted them about paying me my PTO they stated they would be issuing me a check soon. A week and a half later I got an email stating that they were confused about what I was requesting and that I was not eligible to be compensated for accrued PTO until I had been employed with them for 6 months (even though PTO had been accruing).

    Can anyone clarify? Thanks!

  • #2
    I can point you to the rules. Past that, the best I can say is that they probably owe you the money. The rules are pretty clear, but if your employer knows what they are doing (always a question) it is possible they can do things like "start earning vacation after xx months". CA-DLSE is already on record as not allowing a big catch up accrual after xx months, so the chances the employer is correct is not good. But since I have not heard the exact words the employer is using or read their policy, I am not going to say that you will certainly get the funds if you file a wage claim. The best I can give you is "probably".

    Read the rules and assume that CA-DLSE means what they say.

    http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Vacation.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Thank you.

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