Am I owed my PTO?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Am I owed my PTO?

Hi, I live in Louisiana and from my understanding this
is a PTO payout state. So by law I believe my
company has to pay me any pto that I have earned. In
their hand book it is very clear that we dont acrue
PTO. It just states that if you started on a certain
month you are given a certain amount for the year. In
my case the number is 152 hrs. According to the
company Ive used 72 hrs which would leave me with
80. Im being told by the HR department a different
story that doesnt align with the policy thats available
to all employees. Nowhere in the policy does it state
that I had to have worked there for at least 6 months
to get my full amount and it doesnt say that I accrue
any either. Am I owed the 80 hrs?

Asked on September 27, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, in terms of final payout, even payout state recognize that in fairness, vacation does accrue pro rata over time: therefore, you are only entitled to the amount of unused vacation you actually earned up to the date your termination ended. They do this because to do otherwise is to invite abuses and force employers to pay employees windfalls without working. Example: under your theory, if you worked Jan. 1 and quit Jan. 2, you'd be entiled to 152 hours, or 19 work days, of vacation pay. So for working one day, you'd be paid for 20: the one day you worked and 19 vacation days. That is clearly unjust, and you equally clearly would not deserve (and did nothing to earn) pay equal to 20 times what you actually worked that year. Therefore, courts do not do it that way, only require that you be paid out on accrued but unused time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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