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  1. #1
    erk
    erk is offline Junior Member
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    Charged for accrued PTO?

    What is the name of your state? Oregon

    This past Monday, I quit my job - when I did so, it was in a less than adult manner, and I essentially walked right out the door. I received a message shortly after to confirm my address for mailing my final check, which has now been received.

    After-taxes, this should have indicated $754.95 net/$827.18 gross - however, in the list of hours and earnings, there is a line reading "PTO- Termination Overpay", indicating a deduction from total hours and wages of $483.88, bringing it to $271.07 net/$343.30 gross.

    From what I understand, I cannot be *charged* for PTO unless I received a loan of some kind/used more than my accrued PTO. After speaking with a representative from the Oregon Bureau of Labor, she agrees - my question, to get to the point, is can they do this? The employee handbook for the company has an unusual description of this practice that I don't wholly understand which reads:

    " When you terminate employment, your supervisor will verify your PTO and, if appropriate, approve an adjustment to your final pay to reflect the PTO you've earned vs. what you've already taken.

    Example: Say you terminate employment in September, after you've taken eight of your 25 PTO days. In this case, your prorated PTO amount is 9/12 of 25 days, or 18.75 days. From that total, your supervisor will subtract the eight days you've already taken, so you'll be paid for a total of 10.75 days.

    However, if you had already taken more than 9/12 of your PTO amount (in other words, more than 18.75 days) then you'll be asked to reimburse Wells Fargo for the excess amount."

    Help?!
  2. #2
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    You'll have to discuss this further with the state DOL.

    In my state, if you have used more time than you have actually accrued, you can be charged for the overage.

    Example; Joe accrues overtime at the rate of 1.25 days per month (15 days per year). In February, Joe takes 5 days vacation, although he has only actually accrued 2.5 days. (Yes, whether it's smart or not, some companies do let you go in the hole for vacation and/or PTO.) Joe quits in March. Joe has earned 3.75 days but taken 5, leaving an overage of 1.25. In my state, Joe can be required to repay the company that 1.25 days; in fact, Joe's employer can deduct that money from his final check with or without Joe's permission.

    However, not all states look at it the same way and not all states permit it. I have no info on Oregon's take on the matter. (Patty?) You'll have to work out with the Oregon DOL what, if any, time is reimburseable and what to do if it is not. They are the ones you would file a complaint with in any case.
  3. #3
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Not sure about Oregon, cbg. I know California does not allow it. And I have a copy of a PLR from federal DOL that says it can't be done for exempt employees.

    I agree with your advice to the OP.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  4. #4
    erk
    erk is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies, folks.

    In re-reading (over and over again) the policy book, i've discerned that they probably *do* prorate their PTO. However, from the breakdown, their figures *still* don't place me as owing them money - i've actually used less than the accrued amount.

    With that in mind, and armed with more notes that I care to admit, now I just have to actually get someone with a brain at the company. The HR helpline is worthless, as the girl couldn't even tell me how they calculate PTO accrual (so that I could clarify my own calculations), and my supervisor hasn't called back despite 2 messages left over the course of the day.

    I am so, so not ok with all this. At this rate, i'll be borrowing money from my *mother* to cover my bills. What the heck am I supposed to do with less than $300?!
    Last edited by erk; 06-17-2005 at 03:22 PM.
  5. #5
    madapanta is offline Junior Member
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    I've been lurking for some time, and usually the board regulars have things so well covered that I have never felt the need to weigh in, but finally- I have an answer!

    I had to contact Oregon BOLI about this exact issue a few years ago, as I had employee who resigned with a significant negative balance in their PTO account. BOLI advised me that while Oregon law was silent on this exact situation, it does not allow deductions from final pay except for in very specific situations. The agent I spoke with said that the courts have been interpreting this to mean that deductions for used but not accrued PTO are unlawful.

    You should try calling BOLI, see if they can help you. The worst thing that can happen is they can't, and you are no worse off than you are right now.
  6. #6
    erk
    erk is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by madapanta
    I've been lurking for some time, and usually the board regulars have things so well covered that I have never felt the need to weigh in, but finally- I have an answer!

    I had to contact Oregon BOLI about this exact issue a few years ago, as I had employee who resigned with a significant negative balance in their PTO account. BOLI advised me that while Oregon law was silent on this exact situation, it does not allow deductions from final pay except for in very specific situations. The agent I spoke with said that the courts have been interpreting this to mean that deductions for used but not accrued PTO are unlawful.

    You should try calling BOLI, see if they can help you. The worst thing that can happen is they can't, and you are no worse off than you are right now.
    Thanks madapanta,
    First thing I did, actually, is contact BOLI. As i'm fairly inexperienced when it comes to the legalese involved here, my initial call was followed-up by plenty of online research. Armed with this, my second call and discussion seems to confirm that they cannot do this. The result of this is that I must first try to contact the employer in order to try and negotiate those funds - failing this, I can file a claim with the state or take them to small claims court.

    We'll see what happens, I suppose. I'm still freaking out, because this is my survival at play, and i'm getting nowhere because of the lack of communication from the manager who submitted the information. Wish me luck, I suppose.
  7. #7
    madapanta is offline Junior Member
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    Sorry erk, I missed in your initial post your mention of already contacting BOLI.
    Hopefully you will find someone at your former employer to give you a satisfactory explaination of how your PTO and the subsequent deduction were calculated and work with you if there was an error.
    Good Luck!
  8. #8
    erk
    erk is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by madapanta
    Sorry erk, I missed in your initial post your mention of already contacting BOLI.
    Hopefully you will find someone at your former employer to give you a satisfactory explaination of how your PTO and the subsequent deduction were calculated and work with you if there was an error.
    Good Luck!
    I'm hoping so.. I left him a message this morning around 10am, which he hasn't replied to. I've tried calling once every hour since, and everytime, it goes staight to voicemail after the first ring. Given that my reasons for leaving were caused partially by interactions with him, it wouldn't surprise me if he's screening calls. Even if he is relatively busy, I have a hunch that dealing with an employee who quit isn't really a high priority.

    I'm not stressed or anything, though

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