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Termination of Employment & Cobra in PA

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  • #16
    Thank you for all your assistance in the cobra info . I did qualify for the reduced cobra premium payment. I feel my company would have tried not to give me the reduced
    cobra premium since my hr representative was clueless when I brought this matter to her attention. And the informtion you provided was of trendmous help.

    I do have another question which I hope you can help me with. When I went out on sick leave I had the option to used my sick time , vacation and personal time , which I opted not to since I thought I would be returning to work.
    Every employee recieves 16 hours of personal time, at the beginning of the new year 01/01/09 If you don't use it you lose the 16 hrs of personal time.

    I was asked if I wanted to used any of my sick , personal or vacation time and if I did I needed to sign a form to give the payroll department permission to pay me for the time in my bank. In January the payroll department paid me my 2 personal holiday, my sick time as well as my vacation time. I called the human resource department and advised them I did not want to use any sick , vacation or personal time since I thought I would be returning to work. I also adivsed the hr department that I never signed a form giving permission to pay me for the vacation, sick or personal time that I had accured. The payroll department did do a reversal but I was never infomed by the payroll deptartment or my hr department that if my job was terminated that I would not be paid the sick time I had accured or my 2 personal holidays.

    I was involuntarily terminated by my employer on 06/05/09 and am not receiving my 16 hrs of personal time and 21.60 hrs of sick time. The only monies being paid to me is my vacation time that I had acccured in my bank.
    I was told this company policy

    Is this legal that the employer not pay me for my sick and personal time since I was never informed
    that if I did not use my sick or personal time and if my job was teminated I would loose the money. My employer is not upfront and honest with there employees at all and this is a major health care company.

    If you need the name of the company I will be more than gladly to give that information to you.

    Thank you for all of your assistance.


    • #17
      Yes, both those policies are legal. There is no requirement in PA law to pay out either sick pay, personal days or even vacation (unconditionally) at termination. The only PA requirement is for vacation and that is only that the employer follow its own policy.

      Should they have told you that, by reversing your sick/personal days payments, you would not get them at termination? I wouldn't think to do that if it were me; in my mind, they just aren't closely related enough for it to be addressed unless the employee asks the question. I'm not even sure why you thought you would get such payment should you terminate.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #18
        Why would I not ask this question. If you haven't worked for 6 months and are only getting 60% of your pay check would you not ask this queston?

        If my employer would have been up front and honest with me and told me that if I chose not to use this time in my weekly checks and I was terminated and I would lose it , I would have definetly ask for the time to be used. If you were in ths siutation would you not want to check into to this issue to make sure that the money was not owed to you?????

        I did explain to my employers why I did not want to use the time because I thought I would be returning to work but unfortunately my back problem ended up being worse then the doctors orginially thought after much testing being done , my back surgery ended taking twice as long which the surgeon did not anticipate which in turns is making my recovery period longer than both myself and the surgeon anticipated which cost me my job.

        And I have no idea what you referring when you said " in my mind, they just aren't closely related enough for it to be addressed unless the employee asks the question. I'm not even sure why you thought you would get such payment should you terminate."

        I am the employee, maybe you can afford not to do some research to see if you are entitled to the moneies or not but sorry I disagree with you outlook on this siutation.

        Thanks for your input and answer


        • #19
          While the law in some states (not PA, unless company policy or past practice says otherwise) does require the payout of unused vacation, NO state requires the unconditional payout of sick or personal time. It is possible that some union contracts may call for it; it is possible that some companies may have a policy which requires them to do so; it is possible that some companies may choose to do so voluntarily. But in NO state does the law expressly require that unused sick or personal time be paid out*, unless a legally binding contract or CBA says otherwise.

          For this reason, few employers would think to spell out to you, If you do not use your sick time, you will lose it. To them, it seems self-evident. If it does not to you, I can understand that, but it does not change the fact that the employer has done nothing illegal. Or even unusual.

          Did you ASK if you would receive the time on termination? Or did you assume?

          *caveat - in some states, if sick and personal time is part of a PTO plan, where all paid leave for all reasons comes out of a single bank, it would have to be paid out. PA is still not one of those states.
          Last edited by cbg; 06-25-2009, 08:07 AM.
          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.


          • #20
            What I meant was, if I were the HR person, I wouldn't have thought to even address it; just not related enough to being on an LOA.

            Did you have any reason to believe that you were entitled to the payout for Personal and sick days? Anything in the employee handbook? Anything?
            Last edited by Pattymd; 06-25-2009, 08:38 AM.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


            • #21
              I did ask and was told they would look into and they never got back to me. I finally called and ask again and was told it would not be paid out.

              And that is the reason I questioned there answer because they did take it out of my paycheck without my written consent which according to company policy it is
              required to have the consnt form signed by the employee
              to take the monies out of your account for sick, personal and vacation time. It's nice to know that a company can do can do what they want and not follow company guidelines but the employees must or we are told about it.

              And I never assume anything. That's why I was asking the dept of labor the question to verify if this information was correct. In my opinoin it never hurts to ask a question.

              Thanks for your information in this matter.


              • #22
                Ok, all that's fine. They didn't have your consent to pay it. But they reversed the payment and reinstated your balance.
                The payroll department did do a reversal
                BTW, was this leave FMLA?

                Let me see if I can explain. Payroll (or someone) maybe made a mistake they issued instructions to pay/paid you for your personal days and sick time when you were off and didn't get your written authorization. You brought it to their attention and it was corrected. I'm not sure why you think that this situation would prompt payroll or HR to volunteer "you know you won't get paid this time if you terminate, right?" The situation at hand was corrected.

                When you own your own company, you can bypass guidelines or policies too, if you want to. Guidelines aren't law and company policies are hardly ever contracts.

                I'm not trying to be flip, honest. I'm trying to explain to you WHY the information may not have been volunteered at the time.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


                • #23
                  I was not trying to give you a hard time on this issue I simply wanted to verify if the company I worked for could do this and wanted to make sure you had all the facts.

                  I was not happy with some of the wording used in your response and I was taking it as being you being as you said "flip"

                  A simple explanation would have been sufficient!!!!!!!!!!!

                  But I do thank you for all of your Information and hope you have a nice day and I truly mean it .

                  This site gave me very helpful information when I had questons on cobra and I do thank everyone that assised me.

                  Thanks again


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