Has anyone else been told by HR that unlimited PTO has a limit? Our policy very clearly states there is no limit, but once I used 25 days of PTO for the year, I was told by HR that 6 wks or more is not "within reason" (though again, our policy clearly doesn't allude to such a thing) and my manager was basically told it's not ok. I am getting all my work done btw so no issue there.

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PTO is a subtle art. Work continues to accumulate while out of office, and decisions are made without the input of the person on vacation. If one is able to take a large amount of PTO, per company policy, it does not necessarily mean that taking a large amount of PTO does not come with consequences. Aside from what is mentioned above, depending on the work environment, PTO that is perceived as excessive may carry associated sentiments that could be unfavorable. It is possible that someone in a position of power could have the perspective that others should follow a similar work ethic to him/her. Not all philosophies on work ethic are healthy, and each person needs to run at the rate that works for that individual. All that said, the best policy is generally to be open with the team about travel plans with sufficiently advanced notice and to encourage other teammates to also enjoy the PTO benefit that your company offers. Maybe have conversations with others about their plans for vacation, and see what you learn about the team. Good luck!

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at my company is called as Flexible PTO. So it is not a lie in my case. The policy mentions it is unlimited in terms that there isn't a fixed limit, but it's rather used with discretion, responsibility and planned in advance. It makes sense to me. My plan is to take like 3 days more than the previous year btw... this year I took 4 weeks without any issue. This policy is better followed by mature teams imo, mature not in terms of years of experience, but in terms of responsibility+ownership+work distribution.

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Unlimited PTO is a scam. Allows companies to not pay out vacation days when you leave and get workers to take less time off.

Clearly you are seeing the limits of this unlimited policy.

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Unlimited PTO reduces company liability on their P&L. Depending on the size of the company, depends on the amount of capital they have to keep in reserves for salaried employees. Could be millions. Telling you, you have unlimited PTO just means company saves money.

That’s absurd. Very problematic if your performance is good / improving YOY

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💯 HR is there to protect the company. If you are being mistreated or have an issue with anything, your best to seek outside support. Sharing your issue will definitely be appreciated, though to be informed on actions to protect the company, not individuals.

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Unlimited PTO is a scam are you really surprised

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Touche

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I understand their might be n unwritten rule of not taking an unreasonable amount of time off, but 25 days can’t be it… 😅 many companies have this as their standard PTO policy. I say a company should be expecting employees to take at least 35.

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Agreed, I’ve had 5 weeks paid vacation at three different jobs in a row, that’s very standard imo and unlimited should be prepared for employees to use at least that much, especially since I suspect the majority of OP’s colleagues are barely taking any (the usual thing we know happens with unlimited PTO).

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Send them a dictionary definition of “unlimited” and call it a day

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try that and share your experience here

If it’s unlimited y are u even having to report it to hr? Seems weird to me. They can’t have it both ways

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That is correct, short term PTO in unlimited PTO case doesn't need to be reported to the HR. Manager has huge control over PTO and vacation leaves.

The only time I've seen a situation like that was when the individual had performance issues or had taken an insane (far more than 5 weeks) amount of leave. I'd see if your manager is willing to escalate this to the director or VP of your division. The decision of how much PTO is too much should be between you and your manager. And, HR should be enacting and codifying policy, not making policy.

If they have a hard limit and that limit isn't documented (and publicized), then claiming they have Open PTO is a lie.

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I disagree. If you are a poor performer you are at risk of being fired (at least in the US almost every employee is an at-will employee and can be fired at any time. So doing your job badly and taking lots of time off is a good way to be fired.

Unlimited PTO trades process for politics. As a manager I came to hate it as you never have a clear idea what is going to reflect poorly on someone or not. Someone could take every other Friday off all year and no one bats and eye but someone who hasn't taken time off for 3 years taking 4 weeks off will send leadership screaming.

As frustrating as it can be to have the dwindling supply of vacation days it at least provides a clear contract on what both parties will accept. I can save up time or I can spend it piecemeal and everyone gets a fare shake.

It's extremely dependent on leadership culture which means you're playing an annoying game of chess whenever you want to ask for time off.

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I am taking 6 months PTO. It is unlimited.

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Our PTO policy has a maximum number of weeks in a row you can take off,; but not a maximum in a year. It does require you to get your work done.

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Unlimited PTO is an accounting technique to wipe PTO liability off the company's books - nothing else. Its sugar coated as an employee benefit. In reality, the rules for PTO remain the same. Whatever rules/policies applied for finite pto apply to unlimited pto as well (business impact, manager approval, employee goals etc. etc.)

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D'oh. I mistakenly thought this was an Indeed employee, which may not be the case.

Unlimited PTO is not infrequently implemented as a scam. There are no limits, but it requires approval; And after a level that meets traditional PTO tables, approval becomes scarce. This allows a company to not owe you the PTO as a liability.

I’m not saying unlimited PTO can’t be great. I know many people who take a large number of days off and have no problem so long as performance is good and they’re not taking time during key periods. But I know just as many who have found themselves on an unlimited policy that definitely was not.

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They don’t really want you to take unlimited time off.

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Agreed. It’s the dependability part that is missed by abusers of the policy.

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No such thing as "unlimited" PTO. It's just a financial gimmic. Our "within reason" limit (after which requires above-your-manager approval) is 20 days (4 weeks) per year.

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Unlimited is exactly that for us. No limits only a minimum outlined to ensure people use their vacation days.

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Unlimited PTO is company-dependent as it requires the correct company culture to provide benefits for the workers.

If the company has the culture to back up truly unlimited PTO where workers are measured by output and not time put in and a worker's PTO request does not have to be approved to be taken (e.g. "don't ask, must tell" policy), then it is great and I don't care about any payout because I just want to take time off (my current company, I took 7wks off last year and am on track for 8wks this year).

If the company does not have the culture to back it up and your PTO can be denied and there are unspoken limits, then it is worse for workers and probably implemented only so the company can save money (this was my last company and my partner's last company).

If your company is the latter, they shouldn't call it "Unlimited" and should write down their limit so that people aren't mislead.

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Yes, unlimited PTO does have to have a corporate limit, but connect with HR and explain your situation.

I believe you’re only allowed to take up to four weeks at time. And ideally you’re giving at least a 2-4 week window.

You might also get unpaid time off under local workplace/employee laws, especially in the states, especially for emergencies/health/family situations

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I take 6 weeks or so a year of PTO. As long as I accel at my job there should be no reason for anyone to complain. And no one ever has. Unless you are a billable resource, no one should care how much you work, they should care about the outcomes.

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I agree with your sentiment, but we all know that "old school" management still exists and there are plenty of companies that value butt-in-seat-at-office time more than they do actual results.

Start documenting everything, and looking for another job. This is also something I would write in my Glassdoor review. I would say I was told by a friend that there is a limit to their unlimited PTO.

Sounds like they might try to push you out. 25 days is nothing in Europe. Do you have any European counterparts you can compare yourself too?

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I am feeling a little guilty. Here it is 5 days into vacation and I have not even opened the computer to grade / prepare school work. And here I told the 8th graders to use their week off to catch up on all the missing work! Sheeeesh!! Double sheeeesh!!!

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