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What Happens To Remained PTO After Resignation

An illustration for an employee standing in front of a huge Resignation letter and holding a pen on his hand.

When an employee decides to resign, a common question that arises is what happens to remained PTO after resignation. The treatment of unused PTO after resignation can vary based on company policy, and specific terms outlined in employment contracts. Some companies may pay out accrued PTO, while others may not offer any compensation for unused days. Understanding your company’s specific policy on PTO post resignation is crucial for employees planning to leave, as it can significantly impact their final paycheck and transition plans.

What Is Unused PTO?

Unused PTO is paid time off that an employee has earned while working at a company but hasn’t yet taken. While no federal or state laws require companies to offer PTO to their employees, many businesses choose to have a PTO policy to improve their employees’ well being and job satisfaction. A company’s PTO policy may include vacation leave, sick time, holidays, personal days and family or medical leave.

Often, companies establish a PTO policy based on industry standards or expectations. Many companies have policies that allow employees to accrue PTO by hours, days, weeks or pay periods. For example, an employee may earn five hours of PTO every two weeks. Some companies allow employees to accrue more PTO the longer they stay with a company.

What Is Remained PTO After Resignation

Remained PTO after resignation, refers to the amount of unused paid time off (PTO) that an employee still has accumulated at the time they decide to resign from their position. This concept is significant because it raises questions about whether the employee will be compensated for this unused time, or if they will lose these accrued benefits upon their departure.

The handling of remained PTO after an employee resigns is not uniformly regulated across all regions or industries, and typically depends on a combination of company policies, local labor laws, and the specific terms outlined in individual employment contracts.

Can You Use PTO In The Notice Period

Using paid time off (PTO) during a notice period can be a practical issue for employees transitioning out of a company. Whether or not you can use PTO during this period largely depends on the company’s HR policies and the discretion of your supervisors. Some organizations may allow employees to use their accrued PTO during their notice period, especially if it facilitates a smoother transition or if the workload permits. However, other companies might restrict the use of PTO during this time to ensure that the employee is available to complete outstanding projects, transfer knowledge to other team members, or train replacements.

The approach to this issue can also be influenced by local labor laws, which might stipulate conditions under which PTO must be granted. It’s essential for employees to review their employment agreement and consult with their HR department to understand the specific rules applicable to their situation. Clear communication with your employer about your intention to use PTO during the notice period can help in aligning expectations and planning your exit more effectively.

Paid Sick Time And The Notice Period

During the notice period, the use of paid sick time can be a sensitive area, reflecting both legal rights and company policies. Typically, employees are entitled to use their accrued sick leave if they are genuinely ill during their notice period, just as they would at any other time during their employment. However, the context of a notice period can sometimes lead to heightened scrutiny of such requests, as employers may be concerned about the potential for abuse of benefits during the final days of employment.

Legally, an employer cannot deny an employee the right to use accrued sick leave if the employee is genuinely ill and can provide the necessary documentation, such as a doctor’s note, if required by the company’s sick leave policy. This protection is designed to ensure that employees are not penalized for being sick and that public health is not compromised by sick employees attending work to avoid losing pay.

It is important for employees to be aware of and adhere to any specific procedures outlined by their employer for notifying the company of their need to take sick leave, especially during a notice period. Clear communication can help manage expectations and facilitate a smoother transition out of the company. Additionally, employees should review their employee handbook or consult with HR to understand how their sick leave may be managed during the notice period, ensuring compliance with both company policies and legal protections.

What The Law Says About Remained PTO After Resignation

The legal stance on unused paid time off (PTO) at the end of employment varies significantly depending on the jurisdiction. In the United States, for instance, there is no federal mandate requiring employers to pay out unused PTO upon termination; this is typically governed by state law or company policy.

State Laws: Some states, like California, mandate that employers pay out all accrued but unused PTO upon termination as it is considered earned wages. Other states do not require employers to pay out unused PTO unless the company has established a policy or practice of doing so. It’s essential for both employers and employees to be aware of the specific laws in their state.

Company Policy: In jurisdictions where the law does not require payout of unused PTO, the matter is generally left to the discretion of the employer. Companies may choose to pay out unused PTO, roll it over to the next year, or forfeit it upon termination depending on their specific policies. These policies should be clearly outlined in the employee handbook or in the employment contract to avoid misunderstandings.

Employment Contracts: The terms of an employment contract can also govern how unused PTO is handled upon termination. Employees are advised to review their employment agreements to understand any stipulations about PTO payouts.

How To Manage The Issue Of Remained PTO After Resignation

There are several methods to improve your leave management and limit the situations with untaken leave days at the end of the period.

For employers:

With Day off you will benefit from many features to help you in this task, This type of tool helps both employees and managers keep a close eye on accrued, used, and remaining PTO balances, ensuring that time off is used efficiently and in accordance with company policies.

Day Off Features

1.Automated Leave Request and Approval Workflow

A key feature of any day off tracking system is an automated request and approval workflow. This allows employees to submit leave requests digitally, then automatically routed to their managers or the HR department for approval. reducing paperwork and minimizing the chances of errors. It also speeds up response times, ensuring employees can plan their time off more effectively.

2.Real Time Leave Balance Tracking

Real time visibility into leave balances is crucial for both employees and employers. day off tracking system provide up to date information on how many leave days an employee has taken and how many are remaining. This transparency helps employees make informed decisions about their time off and assists HR in monitoring leave patterns and planning for absences.


Integrating day off tracking system with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar and Slack.

4.Blockout Dates

This feature can be used when HR wants to control the number of leave requests can be submitted on a specific period of time, or even turn off leave requests on this period, and block it out so employees won’t be able to submit a leave request.

5.Customizable Leave Policies

Different organizations, and sometimes different departments within the same organization, may have unique leave policies. Day off tracking system allow customization accommodate various leave types such as vacation, sick leave, personal days, PTO and public holidays.

It enables the creation of rules regarding accrual rates, carryover policies:

  • Setting accruals: if you want leave balance to be divided to the employee (monthly, biweekly, weekly) and to not get the total balance on one time on the renewal date.
  • Setting carryover: employee can carry over his remained off days in the leave balance to the renewed balance.

6.Mobile Accessibility

With the increasing adoption of remote work and the need for flexibility, having mobile access to the day off tracking system is indispensable. Employees should be able to request time off, check their leave balances, and receive notifications on their mobile devices. Similarly, managers should be able to approve requests and view team leave schedules from anywhere, at any time. Day Off is available on IOS and Android mobile application.

7.Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics capabilities can transform how organizations manage time off. By analyzing leave trends, HR can identify patterns such as peak leave periods. This data can inform staffing decisions, improve workforce planning, and contribute to developing policies that support employee well-being. Day off is supporting Reports feature to track your team’s balance.

8.Employee Self-Service Portal

Employee self service portal empowers staff to manage their leave requests independently, access their leave history, and view their leave policies. This not only enhances the employee experience by providing control and transparency but also reduces the administrative burden on HR departments.

For Employees:

  • Plan PTO Early: Employees should plan and schedule PTO well in advance whenever possible. Early planning can help ensure that time off is approved and that work responsibilities are covered during absences.

  • Understand PTO Policies: Be fully aware of the company’s PTO policies, including any rules about accrual and expiration of PTO days. Knowing these details can help in planning the use of PTO more effectively.

  • Monitor PTO Balances: Keep track of accrued PTO. Many companies provide tools or platforms where employees can check their PTO balances. Regular checks can prevent surprises at the end of the year.

  • Communicate with Supervisors: Discuss PTO plans with supervisors or HR early, especially if planning to use a significant amount of time at once or during busy periods. This can help with smoother scheduling and ensures that the workload is managed.


The fate of remaining paid time off after an employee resigns is a multifaceted issue that hinges on company policy, local laws, and individual employment contracts. While some companies and regions mandate the payout of accrued PTO, others may allow these benefits to be forfeited upon resignation, depending on the stipulations set forth in employee handbooks or contracts. It is imperative for both employees and employers to be well informed about these policies and legal requirements.

For employees, understanding how unused PTO is handled can significantly impact their financial and career planning.

For employers, transparent and legally compliant PTO policies are crucial in maintaining trust and fairness in workplace relationships, ensuring smooth transitions when employees choose to leave.