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Is being Laid off and Termination the same thing, in Ohio?

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  • Is being Laid off and Termination the same thing, in Ohio?

    I was laid off last Thursday from my employer who I have been with for 13 months. I was / am a director of a department and was laid off because the building our organization was in had a fire 2 weeks ago. I was told this is most likely a temporary lay off until our offices re-open in 6-8 weeks. But in the mean time I wanted to use my unused vacation time to collect a pay check.

    One of the few perks with this employer was the amount of Vacation, Personal, and Sick Leave a Director in my position accrued. At the time of lay off, I was eligible and had on the books- 78 hours of Vacation, 16 hours Personal, and 24 Hours of Sick Leave.

    In the Employee Manual, it states clearly

    “Upon termination or resignation of employment an employee is not entitled to pay for unused Vacation, Personal, and Sick time.”

    But, since I have not been terminated and I did not resign myself, am I eligible for my unused time? No where in the manual does it mention “Lay Off”. I talked to my CEO and she told me that, “I am not eligible for Vacation, Personal, and Sick time” because it is a gift from the company and the employee does not have the right to it and has not earned it”

    This really made me mad and I wanted to jump over the table and punch her, but I restrained myself and walked out of the office peacefully. But I was fuming.

    I guess the big question is: Is “Termination” and being “Laid off” the same thing, and am I eligible to be paid for unused time?

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Termination can mean the being laid-off, it sounds like they covered their bases there.

    Some states do require that it be paid out, some not. It's likely your state is one that doesn't require it since it's there policy but it'd be good to check out.


    • #3
      p.s Since this is a lay-off I'd check and see if they bring you back at your vacation or sick leave level when/if you return to work.


      • #4
        A true lay-off is not normally classified as a termination, at least in those companies who use the term in its classic sense. The lay-off is expected to last temporarily and the employee called back to work as soon as possible. In many companies with whom I've worked and consulted, employees on lay-off status remain as inactive employees; therefore, not terminated and not due any paid time off at this time.

        And, Ohio does not require payout of vacation and personal leave at termination anyway, and no state requires payout of accrued sick leave at termination. So, if you did not have a valid, enforceable employment contract specifying payment upon such an event, they wouldn't have to pay it to you anyway, even if this was considered a "termination".

        Hope you can get back to work soon.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 09-21-2005, 03:09 AM.
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