Should I fight for unused PTO pay?

I received e-mail in early morning on my last work day from senior manager stated
that she approved to pay my unused PTO in term of vacation days. Then 2 hours
later I got fired with cause and excluding PTO pay. The cause was a customer
complaint that I said something bad about organization. I got caught in the middle of
politics in organization. I wonder I should fight to get PTO pay due to I have an e-
mail that stated I will get pay for that. Thank you.

Asked on May 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In most states, including yours, an employee only has a right to be paid accrued vacation time if there is a company policy (usually in the handbook) or a union agreement or employment contract that says workers will be paid such time when they leave. This is because PTO is a discretionary benefit given by an employee; it is not legally mandated to be given. Therefore, an employer can typically choose to pay it or not, whether or not an employee is fired for cause.

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