Is myemployer required to pay me my accrued PTO when I leave?

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Is myemployer required to pay me my accrued PTO when I leave?

The company handbook is not explicit as to whether or not they will pay. I know that some others employees who have left in the past have received PTO payments, and others who have not. So it seems inconsistent. Also, when would they be required to pay it?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Virginia does not require payment of acrued PTO on leaving a job, so it's up to the employer to set it's own policies. If the policy is to pay it on departure, they should pay it to you; the question is, is that the policy? You say that matters have been inconsistent on who is paid. Some inconsistency is illegal--i.e. it can't be based on race, sex, age over 40, disability, or religion; it can't be based on who a supervisor likes or not at the moment they leave--but other inconsistency is perfectly acceptable and legal, such as:

Most people don't get it, but the company agrees in writing (i.e. as part of an employment agreement) to pay others--a company may agree to give certain people more or different compensation or benefits than others)

Certain job categories or titles get acrued PTO paid out

Employees with more than a certain amount of seniority get it

Employees get their  PTO paid if fired, but not if they resigned

Some employees get their PTO as part of a severance agreement


Therefore, you need to know *why* this inconsistency exists, to see if it is proper or not and to evaluate what the company's basic policy in this regards is.

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