I have several employment termination
questions, hoping to clarify my legal rights and options.
After 6.5 years at a company I have submitted my letter of resignation last Wednesday evening via email and asked my supervisor to circulate that on my behalf.
The letter stated that I wish my last day to be the 31st of December 2015, and that I also wanted to take some time off prior to my next job and wished to take PTO
from 16th-31st of December. I have accrued 160 hours of PTO, that will roll-over to next year if not used.
Next day, Thursday, I had conversations with several members of the upper management regarding my departure and respectfully ***** ***** attempt to continue employment. No comment was made regarding time off
By following Tuesday, I received a verbal instruction from my immediate supervisor that our company's in-house legal council, who also heads up Human Resources dept., wished to discuss my departure date and informed me that the legal council had issues with my departure arrangements. I thought that I would get a formal email/meeting invite to discuss, but nothing happened and took no action.
I was working remotely on Wednesday and on Thursday when returned to work, my supervisor has asked me if I had a chance to talk to our attorney? I responded that I did not receive an invite and was waiting for that. My supervisor explained that he was approached by his supervisor, a senior executive and asked if I had talked with our attorney?
This made me concerned and a little mad that these requests are coming verbally and not directly from people wishing this conversation to happen, using my supervisor as a messenger.
Thursday morning (today), I went in to see our attorney, when I got there I explained that I had received a message from my supervisor that he wanted to discuss my departure. The attorney, let's call him 'John', told me that I was legally not able to take PTO as my last two weeks and sited a few sources (I can't recall any of them, except employee handbook
) and that I "can't extend my employment via PTO". I told him that I was not expecting to extend my employment and simply was requesting the last two weeks to be paid out of my PTO account which in our company is paid out in full in-case of employment termination. And that I was in-fact asking for my final date to be the 31st of December. He said that I had to physically be here on that day. I told him that was not a problem and if that's what is required I can be at work on the 31st.
He proceeded to ask me why I just don't cash out my PTO and leave on the 15th of December as my last day. I explained that I had stock options that were supposed to vest at the end of the year and wished to exercise them. John explained that even if I did that the company had a legal right to buy them back, on which I asked if they planned on doing so, he said he would have to check with other members of the board. We're talking about a very little amount of options which in today's dollars are equivalent to about $4k give or take. I was clearly upset by his tone and rhetoric.
Finally my questions:
1) Do they have a legal right to not allow my to take PTO the final two weeks?
2) If I stick it out until 31st am I missing any specific benefits by not leaving on the 1st?
3) If the stock options are bought back by the company, what evaluation is going to be used for them?
4) What is the legal advice in this scenario?