I recently left a company and I did not receive what I thought was the correct amount for PTO payout. I had suffered a traumatic event and was hospitalized 2x within a 2 month period. In between hospital stays and after, I worked full 8+ hour days, but in my timecard I put some time in the wrong field. I was trying to adjust my time so it would be correct for the customer since I was admittedly much slower and did not want them to get charged for the full amount. For example I might have worked 8 hours one day on a project but only logged 4 on the project and then 4 under sick time. The 4 in sick time was incorrect since I was actually working, just slower than normal. Is it possible for me to recover this time or since I was the one who entered it wrong do I have to just accept it?
Your situation is atypical and it is unlikely anyone here on Avvo will be able to give you a meaningful answer without knowing far more. For example: Was the time card one that you submitted to your employer to verify the number of hours you worked, or one that the employer used to bill the customer? If it was used to bill the customer, did you have the responsibility to adjust the time the customer was billed? What is the employer's policy on the relationship between an employee's hours worked, and the time for which a customer is billed? Did your employer know you worked more than four hours on the days in question? How did the employer know?
I am not suggesting you answer those questions here on this public web site. I am suggesting you may need to speak with one or more attorneys to get a better understanding of your rights.
To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org. Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.
I hope there is a good resolution to this situation.
* * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and must not be taken as legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts which are impossible to gather on a public web site like Avvo. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * *
First, you are not entitled to have your accrued PTO time paid out to you upon termination unless the employer includes vacation time within that PTO account. If not, PTO is lost upon termination, regardless of how much had accrued.
Second, assuming your company accounted for vacation time within the PTO account, then the next issue is whether you can now go back to the company and essentially say "I was lying on my time sheets so I want you to pay me more money now." The issue is made difficult because any claim you make will have to be believed when the basis of your claim is that you were not telling the truth. Your credibility will be a big problem. Furthermore, there are several equitable doctrines that would suggest that you cannot now make a claim inconsistent with your former representations. However, if you did make a claim, and your PTO had to be paid out to you, and could get a judge or other trier of fact to believe you, and you could get around those other equitable defenses, you technically have a right to the money if you were actually worked that time. There are a lot of "if" in that proposition.
Good luck to you.
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