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Jan 20, 2013, 5:52pm   #1
athena21's Avatar
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athena21
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So I left my retail job a few weeks ago, and gave myself a week off between the retail job and the new one, with the assumption that my final check for working a 9-hour day (my last day at the retail place) plus my 45 vacation hours pay-out from there would cover me until my new job's checks started coming in.

I e-mailed my HR rep asking when I could expect the vacation pay, since it had been a couple weeks since I'd left. She replied back within 10 minutes that it should be included in my final paycheck, and to let her know if it wasn't.

Of course, it wasn't. On top of that, the final check was only $17, and there's no way that covers a 9-hour day any way you look at it. I haven't gotten the check stub yet, but was able to find it on-line. Looking at it, it says I worked 0 hours for that final time period and there is no vacation time or anything included....it looks like the $17 was just some reimbursement for health care taken out. As soon as I saw the small amount in my account, I immediately e-mailed the HR rep again to let her know, and I still haven't heard anything back yet. One thing I'm worried about, is that my old boss took me out of the payroll system before he was supposed to, so it somehow deleted my record of me working that final day. But I sent e-mails and stuff from the store that final day...I don't think even if I had been terminated early, they could say I didn't work my shift. Otherwise it would look like no one opened the store, since I was alone for the first 5 hours. On the down side, that web-site that has my paystub has no records of my PTO, and I stupidly didn't print out a copy showing my records before I left the store. Still, I don't think HR could lie to me about my PTO balances if I request a copy.

Another guy from my district who left a couple weeks before me also said he hasn't gotten his payout, and the HR rep never even replied to his first e-mail about it.

Has anyone else ever been in this type of situation? I've NEVER had to worry whether or not payroll was doing their job anywhere else I worked, and I really didn't expect this from a retail company that brags about having awesome employees and being a Fortune 500 company. I just hope they don't try to screw me out of anything.
Jan 20, 2013, 6:19pm   #2
BittyMonkey's Avatar
BittyMonkey
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Complain to the State, or at least email them and say if you don't get it by X day you will contact the Department of Labor for your state. It's not your problem they don't know how to follow their HR processes.
Jan 20, 2013, 6:20pm   #3
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pr1nc355
Orange Pyramid
A few years ago, I left a company with about a week's worth of unused vacation days. I got paid for the days I worked, though. I emailed the business manager about it, who responded by scanning some b.s. document that had nothing to do with my question. I asked a friend of a friend who's an employment attorney about it, and she told me that it would be hard to fight the case unless I had specific documents stating the company would pay out my unused vacation days (and even then I'd have to come up with more specifics with proof that the balance I believe I had was truly accurate). I didn't. I decided it wasn't worth fighting and wanted nothing to do with the company once I left anyway. I hated my bosses and was just glad to be out of there and grateful that I was able to find a new job. It was a tiny, mom-and-pop corrupt company (never again will I work for one of those--it was my first full-time job out of graduate school).
Last edited Jan 20, 2013 at 6:25pm.
Jan 20, 2013, 7:02pm   #4
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juneping
couch potato-ing
how do you do your time card? electronically or manually?
if electronically you can't do any input if your boss took you off the payroll....if manually, do you have a copy? you might need to go back and talk to the dept and get it sorted out asap. if they need some proof of your working hours....you will need to prove it.
Jan 20, 2013, 8:02pm   #5
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athena21
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Originally Posted by juneping
how do you do your time card? electronically or manually?
if electronically you can't do any input if your boss took you off the payroll....if manually, do you have a copy? you might need to go back and talk to the dept and get it sorted out asap. if they need some proof of your working hours....you will need to prove it.
Time cards are done electronically, where I would clock myself in/out every shift. I won't take the fall for it if their excuse is my boss took me off too early. They could easily see into the computer, plus my ASM will vouch that I was there - heck, I'll even be on the security cameras working that day and I'll go burn the disc if I need to. My employee ID would be attached to 50-100 transactions from that day, there's no way to erase that.

My guess is even if I was taken out too early, there's some form of my clock-in for that day floating around the time software somewhere. I e-mailed HR again tonight with more details (that I know they said I worked no hours my last day) and the amount of vacation time I have coming back. If I don't get a reply by my lunchtime tomorrow, I'm going to call the payroll office and tell them if I don't get reimbursed within 48 hours, I'm filing a complaint with the dept of labor. In addition to the other guy in my district not getting his vaca time paid out (and it is written in our benefits website that we get paid in full unused accrued vaca, that was another thing I checked before leaving, plus I have the e-mail of HR confirming), another friend who works for the same company in another state said he went through a similar issue after he left, and it took a month for payroll to sort it out and get him his money. I don't plan on letting them take that long, but this makes me wonder how much money they make off screwing employees over who don't bother checking their pay stubs.
Jan 20, 2013, 8:09pm   #6
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juneping
couch potato-ing
^^that's extremely f**ked up of what you're going thru. don't they know ppl live from pay check to pay check. i really hope you'll get your paycheck soon.
GL!!
Jan 21, 2013, 2:19pm   #7
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ms-whitney
shopaholic
I'm not sure about the other states but in California, on your last day you're suppose to get all that's due to you...meaning either they had to anticipate how much hours you're going to work on your last day, and have an official check issued to you or, give it to you in cash (I have had that happen, as even though I give my two weeks notice it stretched to as much as a month)

I tried not to take cash, this wasn't just at one retail company but others too, and was told nope, they are required by law to give it to me there and then, down to the last cent.

something about having to wait weeks, seems shady to me but maybe they compensated you for that health thingy, and you have another paycheck coming? I'm always optimistic..
Jan 21, 2013, 2:21pm   #8
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ms-whitney
shopaholic
heck, I had a paycheck I never cashed because I lost and forgot about it (I was stupid about money then, and still was until a few months ago..not that I blew all my $$ but I was careless about how much I raked in and often would do work for free)

two years later, long after I quit, the company sent me a check! it was 600+$,

they really don't want any lawsuits, even possibility I guess
Jan 21, 2013, 3:36pm   #9
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athena21
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I finally got an e-mail back from my HR rep (after leaving payroll a voicemail earlier today), and she said they would be overnighting me a check for that last day's work, BUT that she was told I didn't have any earned vacation hours to be paid out, that what I would have seen in the system as "accrued vacation" was loaded into the system at the start of the period and actually hasn't been "earned" yet.

Sooo I e-mailed the benefits dept requesting a better explanation and a copy of my accrued/earned/whatever they want to call it hours.

Whitney, from what I've heard, you are very lucky for working in CA. I'm in Michigan and never have I expected or received all wages due on my last shift. I fully expected to wait until the end of the pay period like normal, but I wasn't planning on them screwing up my pay making me wait longer. I know in my company, only the managers in CA are non-exempt and get overtime for over 40 hours. The rest of us are made to work a minimum of 44 hours, and pretty much are told we're slacking if we're working under 50 regularly. Myself and another manager actually went and talked to a lawyer (just for information, trust me I'm not sue-happy and was pretty nervous going and talking to one anyway) about why the same exact position is non-exempt in CA, but exempt in all other states. He said CA kind of does it's own thing, and very rarely do other states agree and pass the labor laws it has, so even if we had tried to fight it it probably wouldn't have amounted to anything.
Jan 21, 2013, 3:41pm   #10
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athena21
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As an added note to the whole accrued vs earned vacation hours...what I find suspicious is if I had used more vacation hours than I had earned already, they would have taken it out of my final check's earnings to cover. They didn't take anything out and didn't mention anything about doing so, and I really doubt I was dead on with hours used to what I had earned. It just doesn't seem right to me.
Jan 22, 2013, 11:26am   #11
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ILuvShopping
★☆★★☆★★☆★
that's shady for sure... do you have any pay stubs that might tell you how much vacation time you had left or how did you/they keep track of it??

at my company my boss handles our vacation time by a freaking excel document and it's the only documentation we have.. kinda irritates me. i have my own copy and i know she wouldn't screw me over but it'd make me feel much better if it would tell me on my pay stub how much vacation time i have. apparently there's a way but our bookkeeper is too lazy to enter in the information into our payroll stuff.
Jan 22, 2013, 3:54pm   #12
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pr1nc355
Orange Pyramid
OP, glad to hear you got your last day's pay. I hate to be a Debbie Downer about this, but I'm sorry to say that unless you have proof that you're owed your vacation days' pay, you may have an uphill battle in getting it. From my understanding in talking with my employment attorney friend, vacation pay is a privilege, not a right, so companies are not required to give it to you. In fact, especially with the economy as it is today, companies are cutting back on paid time off. I know people who are really not feeling well or miss out important events but work anyway, and their reason is, "Well, if I don't work, I don't get paid". Some companies give paid time off as an incentive to retain good employees, but unless it's specifically written in an agreement betweeen you and them that you're entitled to hold onto it and that the amount you think you're owed is what they're willing to pay, companies can find ways to get out of paying it to you. All they're obligated to do is pay you for the time you actually worked.

You can do as ILuv suggested and dig up your recent pay stubs and submit copies of them to HR. If that doesn't work, you can try going to the MI state labor board, but vacation pay is going to be harder to fight than earned wages. Either way, GL to you.
Jan 22, 2013, 9:53pm   #13
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athena21
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Well I'm waving the white flag.

I got my check today, which said I only worked 8 hours. It was a 9 hour day, but I really don't feel like arguing over about $15 after taxes, and my guess is because I was salaried, it wouldn't have mattered if I worked 8 or 15 hours my last day, I still would have gotten paid for 8. Thank god my assistant manager kicked me out right at the end of my shift, convincing me I didn't owe the company anything and should get out as soon as I can.

As for the vacation time, it's written in our company policy (and like I said, the HR woman confirmed it) that any unused vacation time would be paid out. I had to ask benefits twice for the report (they don't put accrued time on our paychecks for some reason) before she sent it to me. I'm still a little confused about it, but I know it's a lost cause. I'm guessing the same goes for the other guy who hasn't gotten his, but I was a little more persistent....he hasn't even gotten an e-mail or phone call returned.

Thanks for the support, everyone! Now I'm just eating ramen until my first paycheck from the new job comes in...
Jan 22, 2013, 10:06pm   #14
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pr1nc355
Orange Pyramid
^^Sorry to hear that you were shorted on your check and if you're feeling defeated about the whole thing. I felt that way when I left the company I talked about in my first post on this thread.

I know it may be hard right now, but just try to be optimistic about the opportunities at your new job. You choosing to not fight your last job for your last dollars isn't really defeat. It's you closing the door on that chapter of your life and you can use your experiences there to help you get ahead at your new job. You seemed to be given a lot of grief at your last one, and at least you can take a deep breath knowing it's all over and you're no longer feeling suffocated and underappreciated. Congrats and GL on your new job!
Jan 23, 2013, 10:24am   #15
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ILuvShopping
★☆★★☆★★☆★
my boss can be a b!tch but i'm glad she isn't sleezy like that. we had someone quit and they had quite a bit of vacation time built up that they would get paid out for. our HR company ended up paying it out as a 'bonus' so it took waaaaaaayyyy more out in taxes than it should have and she made sure that they cut him a new check for the appropriate amount.
so i'm glad i won't have to worry about that when i leave this crappy place!!
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