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We have a new supervisor who is very controlling. None of us are able to take any time off, whether for family gatherings during the holiday, to attend a wedding, or anything. We are trying to do the right thing by asking permission ahead of time, but we have all been turned down.

Is there any recourse for us? It is PTO that we have accummulated and are entitled to. In my case, I am giving over 2 months notice for my vacation so they can plan ahead (I work for a large corporation at the main campus) and I was still turned down!

Please advise


Paid time off, such as vacation or sick leave is a fringe benefit, and except for a few circumstances in CA, employers may administer PTO any way they wish. However, if the employer has a written policy in regards to PTO usage, the employer must follow that policy equitably among all employees. As the supervisor is the primary lead on the company's administration of your PTO, he must also follow the same rules. My advice is to consult your employee manual and read up on the policy. If you find that the supervisor is not following the policy, I would immediately make an appointment with your HR rep to discuss the issue. If you find that the company's policy falls short, my advice is to make an appointment with your supervisor's manager to discuss the issue. Hopefully, in either case, you will be able to find a compromise.

Shannon M. Reising, MSP, PHR

Employment Law

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Shannon M. Reising, MSP, PHR


FLSA, FMLA, Title VII, EEOC, AAP, ADAA, Workers Compensation, Payroll, HR Development and Training, Industrial/Organizational Psychology. My approach is from a scientific-practitioner perspective. Rather than basing ideology on pure white-paper study, I answer with a baseline of critical thinking seated in my position as an HR professional. I understand both the psychological underpinnings of both employers and employees, and how the law may be interpreted and applied in countless situations.


Over 10 years in HR of both non-profit and for-profit organizations ranging in size of population from 20-500 .

Notary Public, HR Certification Institute, Society of Human Resources Management, NC Coastal Society of Human Resources Management, American Psychological Association

BSBA, MSP, Current Doctoral candidate in I/O Psychology, PHR accredited

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