If my company was recently bought out, can they legally take away our earned PTO under the old policy?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If my company was recently bought out, can they legally take away our earned PTO under the old policy?

They told us we would remain under our old company’s benefit policies until next year. We were just told today that we are now not entitled to our vacation time that we earned. However, next month I was supposed to get 15 days of vacation and 6 personal days that I earned for working the previous year. They now are telling me since the new plan takes over on the 1st of next year, they are pro rating the time and I am only receiving 6 vacation days.

Asked on August 31, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If the old company was a LLC or corporation and the LLC or corporation was bought, so that you are still working for the same LLC or corporation, then, while they may change thw policy going forward, they should honor previously earned PTO since it is the same entity, they have to give you the compensation you earned working for them and cannot unilaterally, after the fact, change what you were working for. Of course, if they will not voluntarily let you have or use the PTO, you would have to sue for the days, which may may not be worthwhile.
However, if the company was not an LLC or corporation, or it was but the LLC or corporation was not purchased, only the assets, then you are working for a new company, and the new company does not need to honor the PTO of the old company.

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