PTO vs vacation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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PTO vs vacation?

I know at time of leaving your employer they
are required to pay your vacation time off. My
question is my former work classified it as
Paid Time Off and not vacation and so they are
not letting me get it, Are they still required
to pay it out?

Asked on April 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Any accrued but unused vacation time that was clearly classified as vacation prior to its reclassification, they would need to pay out, and if they don't, you could sue them for it: they cannot avoid their legal obligation simply by re-naming vacation as PTO. BUT they can change their policy from when they announce a change going forward, to eliminate vacation (CO does not require that employees receive vacation) and instead have PTO which they don't have to pay out. So they would not have to pay out PTO earned subsequent to when they announced the change.

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