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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: PhillyWill on February 24, 2015, 01:13:23 PM

Title: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: PhillyWill on February 24, 2015, 01:13:23 PM
Hi Folks,
     After 3 years of beating my head against the music industry I'm going back to knock out my last semester of classes at PSU. Since I'm returning to University Park to do so, this means leaving my corporate day job in Philly. I'm not planning to return to my company after finishing school, but working here has been a mostly positive experience and I'd like to leave on good terms so that I can count on my supervisors to be good references down the road. I'm planning to be finished after the first two weeks of April so that I can travel a bit before the summer semester in May. I could use advice on a couple of points:

1) Since I already know when I'd like to be done, I think it would be a nice gesture to let my supervisors know now so that they'll have more time to interview for my replacement. This is a sales job, and I'm a strong producer so they would have trouble being short a person.

2) I have 10 days of PTO sitting unused. Naturally I'd like to use it, but should I do so before I mention my resignation (eg take an early vacation the 2nd half of March, then come back and give two weeks' notice?). What is the likelihood that I could make the two PTO weeks my last two weeks, if I discussed it ahead of time with management? I realize every person and every company are different, but is there a precedent for doing it this way?

Thanks for your advice, this is my first resignation from a real job so it's all new to me.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: johnny847 on February 24, 2015, 01:19:01 PM
I have never had a full time job, just internships, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. That being said, what I'm about to say is based on the experiences of others that I've seen on this forum:

1). You owe your employer nothing. They would not be employing you if you did not at the very least produce as much revenue as you are costing them in salary, benefits, etc. Giving more than the "standard" two weeks notice can lead to awkward situations.

2). They are probably not going to like you using PTO as your last two weeks. But, check your state laws. I know in CA if you are terminated, you are entitled to a lump sum payment of your wages for your accumulated unused PTO.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: yandz on February 24, 2015, 01:23:38 PM
Each company has a policy on PTO - find out yours.  My last job would pay out the days when you quit (so basically you take your "paid" time off AFTER your last day because you do get the extra $.  At my current job, you forfeit PTO when you quit.  Make decisions accordingly.

I would NOT give them more than the standard 2 wks notice.  Especially in a sales position.  At various companies I have worked at, they will just walk you to the door as soon as you quit.  The assume your loyalty is no longer with them and you could really mess up customer relationships.  At other companies they let you stay, but you have no way of knowing.  So unless you are ready to potentially be done the day you tell them, don't tell them.

Quitting always feels yucky. It is okay.  Just part of business.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: seattlecyclone on February 24, 2015, 01:26:14 PM
Around here it's standard practice for employers to pay cash for any remaining vacation days (but paying out for sick days or floating holidays is rare). This may vary from state to state. Check your employee handbook, if you have such a thing.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: mcgb on February 24, 2015, 01:26:46 PM
I believe most states require that vacation time be paid out to the employee when they leave. I know in MA they count as earned wages and are paid out.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: Lis on February 24, 2015, 01:36:06 PM
I'm gonna go in the opposite direction of Johnny and say have this conversation with your boss now. You're going back to school and you're moving locations, so there's definitely no chance of you staying. You're also not leaving for reasons that could be deemed negative against the company (don't like coworkers or boss, going to work for a competing firm) - you're leaving to pursue a degree that sounds like it has nothing to do with what you're currently doing.

While Johnny's right - you don't owe the company anything - that attitude doesn't do well if there are bridges you don't want to burn. You say you're a high earner and you'll be difficult to replace - good for you! Sit your boss down now and say that while you enjoy working here and what you do, you're following your passion and will be returning to school in May. You'll be happy to continue working hard until then, but you're very excited for the new opportunities you'll have in the music industries. You've really enjoyed working with him/her and your team, and you'll miss them. While you're happy to keep up your pace, you really want to take X amount of days off sometime in March to visit so-and-so before you start devoting your life to studying again. Or, you want your last day to be April 30th, but you have X days of POT left, so what should you do about those?

This is assuming you have at least a semi-positive relationship with your work (if not, screw them). But if you open the conversation now and let your boss feel like you're reaching the conclusion together (you're leaving either way, but it'll make him/her feel better), you'll be able to leave with good recommendations and references, a positive ending and maybe (but hopefully you'll never need it) a job if life in the music industry doesn't work out.

(Why, yes, I did win brown-noser-of-the-year award, why do you ask?)
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: sloof70 on February 24, 2015, 01:41:38 PM
Check your state laws and your employee handbook (if you have one). If law dictates that you must be cashed out on resignation, great. If not, it might be company policy to do so. If neither, you still have options.

I'm based north of Seattle, and my company policy is that you forfeit your remaining vacation upon resignation, but they typically just have you take your remaining vacation when you put in your notice. I'm currently planning on leaving (after many years, I want a career change), and depending on when I get an offer for my new pursuit, I could have up to 4 weeks of vacation to use. I also know that they might want me to train my replacement, in which case I would ask to be cashed out on at least part of my remaining PTO. I'd take the money and finish the job, rather than the forced vacation, if possible.

Regardless, if you have a good relationship with your boss, talk to him/her about it and develop a plan.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: johnny847 on February 24, 2015, 01:43:12 PM
Lis's reply made me think of something - PhillyWill, do you want to stay in your current industry? It appears not, in which case, burning bridges becomes less of a concern.

Something else that I have seen other people say on these forums is that oftentimes, employees are overconfident about how important they are to the company. Not to say that you aren't important to the company PhilllyWill. But it's hard to objectively see your role in the company, especially if you're not in upper level management.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: James on February 24, 2015, 01:58:01 PM
PTO days are legally owed to you in my state, even if you are leaving they must allow you to take the days or cash them out.

Sounds like PA is a little murky, but doubt they will try to stiff you. Just ask.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: gergg on February 24, 2015, 02:20:24 PM
My experience in PA has been if the vacation days are accrued (1 day per month for example), then they are paid out when you leave.  If you just get 10 vacation days on January 1st and it's use it or lose it within the year then they will not be paid out.  Personal/sick time is not paid out.  Don't tell your boss unless you are prepared to be escorted out of the building immediately.  That means you need to have savings to cover the two weeks you were planning to work, and you should collect any personal items from your desk that you want.  The larger the company and more "corporate" the company is, the greater the chance you will be shown out immediately and not allowed to go back to your desk.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: Eric on February 24, 2015, 03:40:26 PM
Your notice depends on your relationship with your supervisor(s) and how they'll handle the news (i.e. their temperament).  I gave 6 weeks notice at a job (2 jobs back, we were moving across the country for my wife's job) as we had a great working relationship.  She's still my "go to" reference to this day.  I even ended up with some surprise contract work a few weeks later as I hadn't found a new job yet and they still needed some help.

You'll know better than us how s/he'll react.  I'd personally err on the side of too much notice if you like them.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: mandy_2002 on February 24, 2015, 04:14:16 PM
Have you seen others resign recently?  We had two people here quit within about a week of each other.  One was planning to take his vacations days, come back and quit (while taking about 8 days more vacation than he was allotted), the other put in 6 weeks notice. 

When asked about the extra vacation days, he just decided to resign that week, and so gave 2 days notice.  The person with longer notice has been tying up projects, and passing along things not ready to close.  I'm sure you can figure out which would get a better reference. 

In the Oil and gas industry, if you are headed out for a competing offer, they will escort you out.  Another person I know left because their mother in Montana was sick, so they decided to move there from Virginia.  She did get another job in Montana, but didn't walk into the office with the offer letter wanting to play hardball.  She worked another 3 weeks before relocating. 

As for vacation, if you do take it at the end, most companies require that you actually work the day after any paid vacation.  So you'd be off for 2 weeks and come back to a desk occupied by someone else and nothing to do for a day.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: Capsu78 on February 24, 2015, 04:27:01 PM
Hi Philly,
We Are...
 I like the advice of most here- if your manager is hopefully going to be your go to reference, I would lean toward early disclosure.  My concerns when people leave is if any risk is associated with keeping the employee around.  Is it safer to just walk them to the door or work with them for a productive transition.  I even left a consulting gig once when "new money brought in new management" and they wanted to hire me on or end the arrangement.  I had a ton of specific info they needed, but I was determined to not burn the bridges.  I even responded to questions 5-6 months after I left...I wasn't going to do the work for them, but I told them what I would do.

As for earned paid time off, when I was a manager it was such a bear to get a check cut that I would pad the employees final week timesheet with a couple of extra mistake, of course, leaving me to not have to haggle about the final paycheck.  The pain of dealing with payroll for a dispute was higher than the hit to my P&L.

May in State College...what a Happy place to be!
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: Numbers Man on February 24, 2015, 04:31:28 PM
You can you any earned PTO (in your case it's 10 days) anyway you want to. When you resign, talk to your boss and HR as to how you want to structure your PTO.

My wife did the same thing several years ago. Her last two weeks was when she was on vacation (a vacation planned a year in advance). This was structured that way so she would be eligible for a stay on bonus by being employed on the exit date because of a corporate merger.
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: MsFrugalista on February 24, 2015, 05:38:16 PM
As others have said, I would definitely check your state laws and your employee handbook. I left my job a couple years ago as we were relocating to the west coast from the east coast due to my partner's job. This was my experience: I had a wonderful relationship with almost everyone in my company, including the CEO. I knew leaving was going to be hard for both myself and my colleagues. At my company they did not pay you for any unused vacation days and it was not unheard of for folks to use it prior to resigning (a VP had taken his full 3 weeks at the tail end of his departure). I did not want to take my remaining 10 days at the end, so I gave my boss almost one month's notice and took 5 days a week after I gave in my notice (to fly out west for apartment hunting) and the remaining 5 days I split it across the last two weeks. This allowed me to transition my work properly to my team and most importantly not burn any bridges (ok not EVERYONE was happy about my departure). So it really depends on your situation at your work and your current relationship with your boss and colleagues.  Hope that helps!
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: PhillyWill on February 25, 2015, 06:34:53 AM
     Thanks for the advice! I dug through our employee handbook and found that company policy is to compensate for unused PTO as of final paycheck, so that takes care of that. I also realized that I just squeaked by the vesting period for the company pension so I'm going to get a nice little lump sum when I leave!
     I'm very tight with my immediate managers, and knowing them they would probably prefer to have me here as long as possible. I have five long-term projects winding down right now that nobody else would want to touch, so even if it's company policy to kick me to the curb they would most likely just keep the news to themselves until April.
May in State College...what a Happy place to be!
     You said it! State College is actually my home town as well, so it's going to be like an extended vacation going back. There's something to be said for spending enough time (as an adult) with your parents for the novelty to wear off :).
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: rocksinmyhead on February 25, 2015, 06:54:36 AM
May in State College...what a Happy place to be!
     You said it! State College is actually my home town as well, so it's going to be like an extended vacation going back. There's something to be said for spending enough time (as an adult) with your parents for the novelty to wear off :).

I agree, totally jealous!! I miss State College! (MS '11)
Title: Re: Resigning and vacation days
Post by: thd7t on February 25, 2015, 11:52:08 AM
Leaving to go to school is a great way to leave on good terms.  They know you're not leaving for competition and you won't be taking clients.  When working in Philly, I was paid for unused vacation time upon leaving a job.  However, sick and personal time will probably not be repaid.