'They Didn't Care': Employer Dragged for Not Paying Quitting Employee's PTO

Thousands of internet commenters were infuriated after one employee revealed why they were stripped of more than 80 hours of paid time off after giving their two weeks notice.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/antiwork, Redditor u/radicalbamboozl (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) argued that years of hard work should have earned them a level of respect from their employer, but assured they'll never make the mistake of believing that ever again.

Titled, "Lost all my PTO. I will never give notice again," the post has received nearly 30,000 votes and 2,500 comments in the last ten hours.

Explaining that they worked in a big box store's corporate IT department for the last two years, the original poster said that the pandemic made their job feel impossible at times, despite receiving multiple raises and bonuses.

"I worked my a** off and was a complete yes man," OP wrote. "Did everything they asked.

"Myself and other colleagues [were] taking later night shifts and working overtime to the point of burnout," OP continued. "The company was reporting over a 200 [percent] increase in profits...yet they refused to share the wealth with those of use who had taken on 3x the workload."

Recently, the original poster said they received a job offer which would increase their hourly rate by 36 percent, provide better benefits and a pension. However, upon issuing their two weeks notice to their current employer, the original poster said they were brutally blindsided.

"I had over 80+ hours of PTO that I had earned/accrued with my company," OP wrote. "I gave them my 2 weeks notice as [courtesy] and asked if I could be [paid] out for my remaining PTO."

"They denied me and told me it would be a forfeit [because] in the state I worked, they are not legally obligated to pay me for it," OP continued. "I tried to dispute it. Told HR and my [manager] how loyal I have been and that I did the right thing...it made no difference, they didn't care."

"I will never give my notice again," OP concluded. "I will burn up all my PTO I have and then on my last day of vacation I will inform my employers it is my last day."

As illustrated throughout multiple recent Newsweek articles, paid time off—or lack thereof—has become a main focus of burgeoning conversations surrounding workers' rights in the United States.

Although some U.S. employers offer paid time off on a variety of sliding scales, usually based on time worked, there are no federal laws or policies requiring employers to pay employees for any time spent away from work, according to the Department of Labor.

For employees who do receive paid time off, however, there is no guarantee of lavish vacations and leisure.

Three years ago, data collected by World At Work revealed that nearly 40 percent of employees in the U.S. fail to use their paid time off each year. And while many employees bank countless hours in hopes of someday spending more than a long weekend away from the office, there is also no guarantee that those hours will ever be used at all.

Across the U.S., varying state laws pertaining to paid time off balances put quitting employees in precarious situations.

In some states, employers offering paid time off are required to pay out remaining balances upon separation. In others, Paycor reports that employers with "use-it-or-lose-it" policies have no such obligation, and often force quitting employees to forfeit any accrued paid time off, regardless of an employee's track record of loyalty and always doing "the right thing."

Employee denied accrued paid time off
Members of Reddit's r/antiwork forum defended one employee who said they were stripped of 80 hours of paid time off after issuing their two weeks notice. fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors acknowledged this harsh reality and offered the original poster advice for how to handle their last weeks of employment.

"A company does not care about you," Redditor u/Pleasant_Author_6100 wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 7,000 votes. "You are only a number producing revenues. Nothing more, but possibly even less."

"Don't give a company more than 100 [percent]," they continued. "[Everything] else will bring you to an early grave and you will be replaced without second thought."

Redditor u/lankist, whose comment has received nearly 5,000 votes, advised the original poster to quit their job immediately without working their final two weeks.

"Rescind your notice and quit immediately," they wrote. "If they don't owe you 2 weeks PTO, you don't owe them 2 weeks notice."

"Call in sick everyday until PTO is exhausted, then don't show up," Redditor u/ohhhhhboyyy suggested, receiving more than 3,000 votes. "You earned it, use it."

"I hope you stop showing up to work," Redditor u/Zestyclose_Walrus725 chimed in, receiving more than 1,000 votes. "[I] certainly wouldn't be going in to finish my time."

In a separate comment, which has received more than 3,000 votes, Redditor u/Tiger_Striped_Queen offered a similar response.

"Always use your PTO during the year if you aren't in a Union that will fight to get it for you," they wrote. "I've seen this happen [too] many times."

Newsweek reached out to u/radicalbamboozl for comment.