Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Employer is in NJ - I live in MA: Must PTO be paid on termination?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Employer is in NJ - I live in MA: Must PTO be paid on termination?

    My employer is based in NJ and incorporated as an LLC in Delaware. My employement offer states I am entitle to 25 days PTO per year at a specific accrual rate. My offer also refers to the Employee Handbook for vacation policies. This policy to date was never written and thus there is nothing in writing.

    I was hired on March 10, 2005 and have accrued 24 days of PTO and have taken only 1 day (Today is 2/21). I am considering resigning and giving no notice given extraordinary circumstances.

    I have reviewd MGL c.149, s.148 regarding an employers obligation to page vacation. This statue refers to 'wages' and not vacation per se.

    Are there any laws in MA specifically addressing PTO and an employer's (in this case, out of state employer) obligation to pay what I have accrued if I resign?

  • #2
    Yes. Since you live and work in MA, MA law applies to you, regardless of where your corporate headquarters is, and under MA law you are entitled to have any accrued but unused vacation paid out at termination, regardless of the reason your employment ends. This includes PTO, unless the PTO policy specifically separates vacation from other time.

    Please note that this does not mean all the the time you would have accrued over the course of the year, only what time you have actually accrued when your employment ends. Thus, if you accrue .83 days per month (which comes out to 10 days a year) and you leave on March 31, they owe you 2.5 days, not 10 days.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply.

      Two followup questions:

      1. What MA laws specifically address this? I'm forecasting my employeer will balk at paying it and it would be helpful to be able to forward them the reference if it comes to that.

      2. Are there any limitations on accural? I have been with the employer almost a year and have accrued 24 days and taken 1. There is no written corporate policy dictating calendar year carryover, payment, 'use it or lose it', etc. With no policy in place is there any precedence stating I am owed what I've accrued minus what I've taken starting from my first date of service?

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't have the specific law handy. If Phil comes by I'm sure he can find it for you; otherwise I'll try to post you a link tonight.

        Although MA law permits a cap to be placed on accruals, if there is not a written policy specifying what it is, it is doubtful in the extreme that they would be able to place one at this late date; at least, as affects a termination (voluntary or involuntary) that is to take place this week.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Again, thank you for the reply.

          I am very interested in the specific MA statutes as I am also considering referring to them in my resignation letter to support my case for a timely payout.

          I look forward to you posting a link of what you find relevant.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm curious; what makes you think that your employers are not already aware of the law? What is it that suggests to you that you will not be paid unless you force the law on them?
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              The employer recently terminated a executive and won't even pay his outstanding expenses much less even talk about paying PTO.

              Comment


              • #8
                But the law does not require that outstanding expenses be paid unless there is a contract. It does require PTO payout. Not comparable situations.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Reimbursement of expenses always presents an interesting issue when I represent employees. The law does not require employers to allow employees to incur expenses, and thus employers try to deny the reimbursement requests as unauthorized. But, usually that's not the case. Typically, an employee incurs expenses under a written or unwritten policy or understanding that they are permitted and will be reimbursed so long as they are for the company and proper receipts are submitted. Under those circumstances, there is a "contractual" understanding between the employer and employee regarding those expenses, and thus a basis under contract law to require reimbursement.

                  As for Paid Time Off policies, these have become a big topic of discussion recently in MA. The discussions have generally centered around whether an employee can take time off from work - Voting Leave, Small Necessities Leave, Jury Duty and Military Leave (especially the new USERRA regs that go into effect on 1/18/06) - as well as use it or lose it provisions, and whether the time is subject to a TO or PTO policy.

                  As a general rule, PTO policies are not required. As such, their operation is up to the employers' discretion, unless the time off falls under the various Leave Time statutes. So, if there is an employment contract or an employee handbook, then the rules set out govern the policy's operation. The most important parts of those rules are the accrual and cap provisions.

                  As for cashing out PTO benefits, I typically argue for them under the "vacation" provision of c.149, s.148. That law provides that "The word 'wages' shall include any holiday or vacation payments due an employee under an oral or written agreement."

                  Best, Phil
                  This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                  This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X