Q: Hello - I reside in the state of Georgia, and I'm looking for assistance on employment agreements vs. handbooks.
I provided my voluntary resignation on 2/6/20. I received a letter from my former employer today stating that he would not be paying me for the three days PTO I took prior to turning in my resignation - he actually edited the "Handbook" to include that he didn't have too if you didn't provide two weeks notice - I use the term "Handbook" loosely, because it is essentially two pages; one document referring to PTO, the other, referring to Tuition reimbursement. I never signed any documentation acknowledging the existence of these 2 documents that were generated in 2018 - and I do have the signed copy of my initial offer letter, dated in 2015 stating "Please be advised that this position is at-will for both you and the company."
My question is this - does the initial offer/Employment Agreement supersede the Handbook? Any advice or thoughts on GA State law regarding this would be greatly appreciated!
A: Since you are an at-will employee, your initial offer letter is not an employment contract in that it doesn't create enforceable legal rights to benefits like PTO. As for the handbook, employers may change their PTO policies at any time, and the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require that employers offer or pay out any unused PTO at the end of your employment. The FLSA only requires that you be paid for the hours you actually performed work, and PTO is not included under the legal definition of "hours worked." So, unfortunately, there is no legal basis for challenging the non-payment of your PTO here.
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