Do I have the right to collect my earned PTO when I leave my company if I was not provided with the company policy which states otherwise?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have the right to collect my earned PTO when I leave my company if I was not provided with the company policy which states otherwise?

I recently resigned from my position and had 64 hours of unused and accrued PTO. I was employed with the company for under a year, so wasn’t paid the PTO due a policy that states that 1 year of employment is required. However, I never received this policy but HR stated that it was saved on the company intranet. If I had known that this policy existed, I would have either requested to use the PTO or not given them a full 2-week notice. I don’t see how it can be expected for me to work 2 weeks and train my

replacement on how to do the job, yet I am not entitled to the accrued benefits that I had earned. Do I have a case in small claims court?

Asked on December 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is no inherent right to be paid for unused paid time off (PTO) on termination of employment in your state. That means that unless you had a written contract or clear, unequivocal policy from your employer guarantying you PTO payment if your employment ended how and when it did, you have no right to it; having no right to it, you cannot sue for it. So only if you had a contract or your employer had a clear policy guarantying you the paymet under these circumstances, are you entitled to it; you did, you could sue for the money on that basis.

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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