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What happens to PTO when I leave a job?

If you have a job that allows you to save up vacation benefits, you might want to be careful when considering a move or change of employment if you want to cash those benefits out. Here are a few things to consider to make sure you are able to cash out your PTO before leaving a job.

  1. Make sure your new employer has completed reference checks.You don't want to get in a fight with your current employer over something like a few weeks' pay right before they speak with your potential new employer. Don't have a sit down with your manager or HR about PTO payout until they have already given your reference.
  2. Check State Laws. In West Virginia, the definition of "wages" includes benefits such as vacation time that has been accumulated but not used. If your employer provides vacation time as an employment benefit, you must be compensated for unused time.
  3. Check Company Policy. In states where the law does not require payout of benefits, it's up to the company to do so or not. You may be able to negotiate a benefits payout by negotiating with your employer.

If you want to avoid having to deal with the HR department regarding your PTO when you leave a job, use your vacation before you leave. However, you will need to check your company's leave policies first to see if and when you can use vacation after giving your notice. Some companies have policies against using leave once you have submitted your notice to leave the company.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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