Resignation Complications

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about “use it or lose it” pay earned if resigning:

I received an offer for a much better job, title, higher salary and environment. I submitted my resignation this afternoon at 2nd break. I proposed the resignation on 2/5 and effective 2/18. My weekly schedule is Sunday-Wednesday. The company has been laying off and demoting employees due to a merger. The handbook states: I must offer a formal 2 weeks notice in order to receive accrued PTO (about 56 hours). That unscheduled PTO requests made after resignation would result in termination and loss of PTO. There are no more specific rules. Floating holidays are lost regardless. It is my understanding that two week notice is a courtesy, not a requirement. They are taking advantage of a guideline and cheating me of a scheduled holiday with a rule they just made up. We have 3 months of PTO blackout days (Days we cannot be absent and must sometimes work without even regularly scheduled off days for extended periods) including 3/15-4/15, 6/1-6/15 and 11/1-12/31.

A use it or lose it policy over 40 or a 75 cent on the dollar cash out which I am told not eligible for post resignation notice. There is no mention of cash out on resignation in the handbook either. I had requested, a holiday floater for my birthday sun 2/10 in advance WITH coverage. There is an employee I have swapped shifts to cover while he is on vacation the whole week including 2/16. A third employee is covering me 2/10 so she can have a day off while covering for the guy on his week long vacation. The following issues were raised by HR. Not addressed by my supervisor. He agrees with them… He has a tendency not to disagree with anyone… except people beneath him. 1. I was told my resignation could not begin the day turned in 2/5 because “I missed the (unwritten) cut-off time.” and it his stated that I must work until 2/19 by HR. (Is there a legal or ethical issue here? Not a recorded employer policy.)

2. I was told taking off 2/10 is fine without pay but, working 2/16 does not count as a working day because it is not my “regular schedule,” therefor this would result in my having to stay until 2/20. (Is there a legal or ethical issue here?Not a recorded employer policy.) There will be no replacement, there is no need to make training time. I wanted to begin my first full week (m-f) at the new employer Monday 2/18. They may be flexible but, I’m trying ro remedy my current work place situation before I try to push off yet another full week. It looks like I will end up working from 2/11-2/22 without a rest. The new employer would really appreciate if I could start 2/12 so that I can meet the CEO who will be visiting from Europe but, understands if I can’t. I’m considering my options,1. Abiding by my current employer’s demands, losing the floater, being overworked and poorly treated in an attempt to earn my accrued 56 hours of PTO while missing the opportunity to make an impression on the new CEO.

2. Being irritable as I endure this attempt to cheat me of my hard earned PTO in hopes they will release me with it or lay me off so I can take PTO without finishing the 2 weeks. I’ve already told them, if they count 2/10 against me and ignore 2/16 as a working day; I will refuse to work 2/16 leaving them without coverage.This is their choice, I volunteered. This company consistently manages to punish people for sticking their necks out to help. Everyone is miserable. People with power choose to force their personal misery on to their employees.

3. Walking out and letting them fend for themselves immediately; forfeiting my PTO but, starting my new job sooner, earning more money and meeting the CEO.

Signed, Undecided

Dear Undecided:

It seems, on the outside looking in, that your decision has been made for you. You dislike your company, don’t respect your boss, are not dependent upon a reference to get another job because you already have one waiting, need to be working at the new place on the 12th to meet the CEO and to fulfill the wishes of your new employer, but have been told you can’t leave your current job until the 19th; seven days too late. And the only reason you would stay is essentially for about 8 days of pay. I realize that is significant, but you will make it up at your new job and will have ensured that your new employer realizes you want to make things work well for their needs.You know best about all of the circumstances, but it sounds as though HR is going out of their way to make your final days there as unpleasant as possible. They may feel that they are under no obligation to make things pleasant, but they certainly are not showing any positive human relations, considering they are supposed to be all about human resources.

You may want to contact the Department of Labor in your state to find out if there are any illegalities about your employer’s actions. In some states there are definite requirements about payouts and such issues, but not in every state. You probably could find something in an online resource for them.

Here is my main thought: You will only have one chance in the near future to meet your new CEO as the newest employee at that site. Your future boss wants you to be there for that. Your future boss wants you to start sooner rather than later. It seems to me that you are being offered more by your future boss, who owes you nothing at this point, than you are by your current employer, for whom you have been working for some time.Best wishes as you make this decision and move into what sounds like a better workplace

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.