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Employment Law/unpaid sick time and vacation time


I am resigning from my job and I have unused sick time and vacation time am I entitled to receive compensation for it?


In Pennsylvania, vacation pay and sick pay are matters of contractual agreement between employer and employee.  If you are covered by a union contract, then the terms of that contract will govern whether you must be paid in lieu of unused paid time off (sick days or vacation days or "personal days") at the time you terminate your employment.  If there is nothing specifically covering these issues in the contract, or if you don't have either a union contract or an individual employment contract, then any published employer policy on the topics would govern.

State law does require that employers give notice of their policies.  At the time and place of hiring, employers must notify employees of any fringe benefits of wage supplements to be paid to the employee, and of any change to any of the terms prior to changes, or, alternatively, employers can provide notice by conspicuously posting the aforementioned facts at the employer’s place of business. 43 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 260.4.  Paid time off is normally regarded as part of "fringe benefits or wage supplements" for purposes of this law.

If your contract or company policy provides for payment of unused sick days and/or vacation days at termination, then these payments become due and payable no later than the next regular payday on which the wages would otherwise be due and payable.  43 Pa. Stat. § 260.5.

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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