Employees may submit paid time off (PTO) requests after they’ve given two weeks notice, but employers can legally deny those requests. Why? Pairing PTO with the last two weeks of employment makes it much more difficult for employers to find the right replacement.
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You’re entitled to a PTO payout (in conjunction with your final paycheck) if you’re among the 24 states that stipulate this in their labor laws. Some of the states included in this list are Arizona, California, Illinois, New York, and Wyoming.
To find out if your state requires employers to pay out PTO at the end of employment, check out FindLaw’s complete list.
Employers decide whether or not to pay employees for unused sick time as a company-wide standard. For employers, there are benefits to each option:
Paying out sick time encourages employees to be conscientious of how they use sick days during employment. If an employee knows that sick time used means money lost, they’re likely to be more conscientious in deciding how frequently they call in sick.
Not paying out sick time protects employers from more significant financial losses after an employee leaves.
Many companies address the sick time dilemma by solely offering PTO. To avoid larger payouts, employers can create a tiered structure, where the longer an employee has been with a company, the faster she or he accrues PTO.
The long-term effect of the way you treat an employee who has given notice doesn’t end when that person clocks out for the last time. People talk, and it’s important that what they say about you and your employee policies accurately reflects your business. Setting a good precedent for existing employees should be a top priority.
Choose a final pay policy that is fair for all employees. When deciding whether or not to pay out PTO to an employee, consider both the individual and the company as a whole.
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