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I was fired for using unscheduled pto?

Mr awesome possum Mr awesome possum Registered User regular
edited July 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok so here's what's happened I was put on a final a while back ago and was told not to be late anymore (completely understandable)..

This past Monday I was running 15 minutes late from my lunch break because I needed to pump gas or I would probably be screwed so I called in and told them I was going to be late by 15 minutes. I used some of my unscheduled pto to compensate for those 15 mins and got to work. We'll yesterday I was fired for doing this because it was an "an abuse of pto"

I got this idea from a coworker who did this exact thing on Saturday, she is on a final too. I'm new here and would love others opinion on this..

I live in Texas and work in a call center as a customer service representative. Why give the time if you're not going to stand by what you say? Seems pretty shitty to me.

Jacobkosh on

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    kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    You want this to be in Help & Advise, not this subforum (which is for technical issues related to the forums).

    Can't help with your problem, though, sorry. No experience with that :(

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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    moved to H/A

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    lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    when i worked in a call center many years ago, our 'unscheduled pto' was only unscheduled in name alone.

    it was not built into the schedule, obviously. but it was a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Needed a day off for a doctor's appointment, or even just half a day? Working at 2pm? best get up at 6am, get to the office and wait in line with the others for when the Supervisor comes in, looks at the computer and figures out how many EW Days they can give away that day. If the numbers aren't there, tough. You have to work.

    only time I was ever given an EW Hour (we could split some of them up into hour blocks) was when i got into a car accident on my way to work. And even then i got pulled into the office and had somebody talk to me about it.

    I was on final warning almost all of the time due to illness. Luckily though, I had a union. I'm guessing that since you're in TX you don't have union representation. But if you do, use it. get in touch with your steward.

    If you don't... then I have no idea what kind of advice to give you dude. Other than maybe appeal to management?

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    DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    If you're working in an "At Will" state, they can fire you for absolutely anything and not give you a reason.

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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    Nothing shitty is going on--they told you not to be late again, yet you were. Explaining that you needed gas will be countered with the point that you could've gassed up earlier, or cut your lunch short, or do numerous things to avoid being late.

    Best advice would be to chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.

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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    I've never heard of place that lets employees break up any kind of paid time off into 15 minute chunks. Half days have always been the smallest.

    For future reference, you needing to pump gas is not the company's problem and never will be.

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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    I totally agree with Markershot.

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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Yeah, sorry you got let go, but it's all on you. Stuff like that doesn't fly with any normal job - hourly or salaried.

    If lateness is a chronic problem, try to review your habits/routines to see where the issues is. Do you get up too late? Do you spend too much time watching TV/on the computer, etc. in the morning?

    What I do is to work backwards:
    8:00AM - need to be punched in.
    Commute takes 30mins, so need to drive @ 7:30.
    Getting dressed and shower takes 30 minutes, so need to be up @ 7AM.

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    SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with everyone else. I've never heard of PTO being taken like that and half days are the minimum usage. Remember - if you're on time, you're late. Always strive to be early.

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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Legal, valid, and nothing you can do about it.

    Absorb this life lesson instead of attempting to lay the blame at the feet of your employer or your state.

    Jasconius on
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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    Indeed. Also, Texas has some of the loosest labor laws in the country around employee rights, so don't count on anything.

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    godmodegodmode Southeast JapanRegistered User regular
    I'm torn on this.
    On one hand, that's really shitty to get fired without at least a warning first.
    On the other, you were new to the job and you should not be trying to be liberal with the rules yet. Give it a month or so before you start testing the limits on your time card.

    In conclusion: You know for next time. Manage your time better.

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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    godmode wrote: »
    I'm torn on this.
    On one hand, that's really shitty to get fired without at least a warning first.

    He did have a warning first, he was put on final warning for being late prior to the firing for being late again.

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    godmodegodmode Southeast JapanRegistered User regular
    Oh, I missed that! Then yeah, if you were already warned, it probably wasn't a good time to try and pull that.

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    iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Ok so here's what's happened I was put on a final a while back ago and was told not to be late anymore

    Issue #1, being put on final notice is a very clear indication that you did have notice. The company was telling you to get your act together or hit the bricks. The fact that it was for being late really set the stage for this whole thing, if your working CS at a call center when it comes to being late this is a pretty big no no.
    I got this idea from a coworker who did this exact thing on Saturday, she is on a final too.

    Lets stress part of this statement "she is on a final too" I don't know about you but taking work advice from someone who's on the brink of getting canned isn't the best idea.

    I would say you had ample notice that you needed to not be late again and even if it was accidental this time you need to chalk it up to experience and move on. Sorry to not give you any sympathy here but from what I gleaned from your story is that you've been habitually late and got canned for it.

    Work on your time management skills, check your gas level before hand, and good luck on the job search.

    iRevert on
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    noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    Work in a call center in Texas.

    First, I'm really sorry that you got fired. It fucking sucks, especially if you were new and had just gotten that job. I sent you a PM, so depending on your location, I might be able to help you with another call center job if you want.

    I said this on the thread where a dude was asking for advise on working in a call center-the number one reason people get fired in my place is due to not keeping to their schedule.

    My work used to allow unscheduled PTO in 15 min increments. Now they do it in 30 min increments I believe. That said, just for the future, unscheduled PTO does not 'fix' your availability. All it does is get you paid for the time you were missing. I'm not trying to harp on this, but if you ever find yourself in the same position, use SET/sick time. That technically works, though if you're already on a final notice, they could have still let you go.

    Good luck man, and if nothing else, call center work is easy to find. Depending how long you worked, don't even put this in your resume.

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    KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    You didn't get fired for using unscheduled PTO, the thread title is awfully misleading. You were fired for being chronically late and unreliable.

    There is nothing wrong with this. It is entirely legal, in the future make it a point to not be late.

    Karrmer on
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    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    Not to add to the dogpile, but yea...if you're on a shift-type job, that's called being late. You probably would've been better off saying you were sick, and turning around and going back home.

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Its not that fucking hard to be on time to work.

    Shit happens, but being late because you need to get petrol is pretty dumb.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    In the future, if you're on a final notice for being chronically tardy, use things that are not something you can plan around. Honesty is the best policy, but with asshole employers that like to fire because you didn't show up to your shift and were 2 minutes late (this happens a lot more than you think) then fuck them.

    "Sorry I'm late but I ran into an accident."
    "Sorry I'm late but I was stuck at a train crossing."
    "Sorry I'm late but my car broke down."

    You'll probably still be fired. Don't be late anymore, be early. If you think you'll ever be late by 10 minutes when you leave in the morning, get up an hour earlier and be 45 minutes early. Better to be stuck at work waiting for someone to open the door than worry about finding work in this shit-tastic economy.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    Spherick wrote: »
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with everyone else. I've never heard of PTO being taken like that and half days are the minimum usage.

    My company allows it.

    One piece of advice I will give that I live by is plan your morning around being there about 15 minutes before your shift starts. Yeah, it sucks having to kill 15 minutes most days before your shift, but that time there's a wreck on the freeway or you forgot to get gas the night before, you'll be glad you did. And so will your employer.

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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    General Advice: If you're on "Final Notice", there's a more than fair chance that they're documenting it for your dismissal. Don't fuck up when you've been written up.

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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    The other element that hasn't been address is that you were doing this at the last minute. Yes, it's unscheduled, but in most companies the use of any unscheduled PTO is grounds for review in order to curb abuse. In this case, you were trying to use an out for being late. Unscheduled PTO isn't a "get out of being late" card, and the company caught you for it.

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    Mr awesome possum Mr awesome possum Registered User regular
    Ok well here's the deal I'm not the only one on a final everyone was basically on a final for one thing or another I think mine was compliance and that pto is literally for anything. And honestly everyone on our team is late (some more than others)! I've honestly seen people do this on a daily basis. I'm not sure if u stated this but we have scheduled and unscheduled and unscheduled can be used whenever we want to. I I agree I probably shouldve just turned around and went home and you're probably right the call center is closing in September's. And they're supposed to pay out 5k to whoever makes it plus severance. At least that's what my supervisor said today when she called me?

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    Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    I'm willing to bet that even though you can use unscheduled PTO whenever, it still counts against you. Companies tend to not like anything unscheduled.

    And the fact that everyone else is also on a final is meaningless. They were looking for an excuse and you gave them one. If the others give them one, they'll probably be gone too. That's kinda how final written warnings work. You will find inconsistencies in how many occurrences it takes from one person to the next, but eventually they'll catch up with you.

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    skeldareskeldare Gresham, ORRegistered User regular
    Derrick wrote: »
    If you're working in an "At Will" state, they can fire you for absolutely anything and not give you a reason.

    This. Unfortunately there's not really a whole lot you can do.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Ok well here's the deal I'm not the only one on a final everyone was basically on a final for one thing or another I think mine was compliance and that pto is literally for anything. And honestly everyone on our team is late (some more than others)! I've honestly seen people do this on a daily basis. I'm not sure if u stated this but we have scheduled and unscheduled and unscheduled can be used whenever we want to. I I agree I probably shouldve just turned around and went home and you're probably right the call center is closing in September's. And they're supposed to pay out 5k to whoever makes it plus severance. At least that's what my supervisor said today when she called me?

    Would you have felt better if the supervisor said we're firing you because we don't like your sneakers today?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    Ok well here's the deal I'm not the only one on a final everyone was basically on a final for one thing or another I think mine was compliance and that pto is literally for anything. And honestly everyone on our team is late (some more than others)! I've honestly seen people do this on a daily basis. I'm not sure if u stated this but we have scheduled and unscheduled and unscheduled can be used whenever we want to. I I agree I probably shouldve just turned around and went home and you're probably right the call center is closing in September's. And they're supposed to pay out 5k to whoever makes it plus severance. At least that's what my supervisor said today when she called me?
    That part, right there, means they're going to fire anyone for anything they can so they don't have to pay out whatever bonuses they might otherwise be paying. Everyone above you will get a better bonus if they don't have to pay out bonuses to the phone monkeys. (Everyone above them are getting fat bonuses if they can avoid paying out to the supervisors/managers... so, it comes around)
    You may have been the first, but you won't be the last over the next couple of months. Keep in touch with your former co-workers, let them know they should update their resumes if they aren't already, then watch as they get fired for increasingly stupid things that used to be acceptable.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Unscheduled PTO gets you paid when you can't come in and you didn't set it up ahead of time. That's all it does. It doesn't justify that you weren't in on time. If you aren't a habitual absentee, it'll usually be looked over that one day you were violently ill and couldn't come in. You burn some PTO and you still get a check.

    Put another way: You're still getting written up for unscheduled PTO whenever it happens at an hourly job like that. You can still get paid, though. But if you hit enough write-ups, you're fired.

    If you habitually show up late or don't come in, you're not actually doing the job you're needed to do, so you're let go for someone who can actually show up and work.

    Darkewolfe on
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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    skeldare wrote: »
    Derrick wrote: »
    If you're working in an "At Will" state, they can fire you for absolutely anything and not give you a reason.

    This. Unfortunately there's not really a whole lot you can do.
    there are certain reasons which are absolutely not legal under US Federal law. race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, and, to a lesser extent, gender/sexual orientation.

    but, yeah, anything else is pretty much fair game :|

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Ok well here's the deal I'm not the only one on a final everyone was basically on a final for one thing or another
    And honestly everyone on our team is late (some more than others)! I've honestly seen people do this on a daily basis.

    So what? What makes it okay then?

    This, right here, is a shitty fucking attitude to have in the workplace and in your career.

    If everyone else is abusing company rules or doing the wrong thing constantly, that is an opportunity for you to be the one guy who doesn't do that shit. The next time a promotion comes up, guess who gets it? not the guy who fucks up just as much as everyone else does!

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    DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Honestly I haven't seen a call center where everyone isn't perpetually on final notice. If you can't adhere to the employee policies, or if they want to, you aren't going to be able to keep your job. Frankly this sounds pretty legitimate that you were fired.

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    skeldare wrote: »
    Derrick wrote: »
    If you're working in an "At Will" state, they can fire you for absolutely anything and not give you a reason.

    This. Unfortunately there's not really a whole lot you can do.
    there are certain reasons which are absolutely not legal under US Federal law. race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, and, to a lesser extent, gender/sexual orientation.

    but, yeah, anything else is pretty much fair game :|

    don't be absurd - companies can fire you for any of those things if they want to. They don't have to SAY that's why they did it.

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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    You need to stop dwelling on what has already happened and get on to finding a new job. This place didn't want you, for whatever reason. Cut your losses and focus on the constructive activity of finding new employment. That's it. Nothing more.

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    JavenJaven Registered User regular
    They fired you because you were late, but take some solace in the fact that, if that severance bonus thing is true, they're itching for a reason to fire everyone.

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    PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    i HATE employees that are chronically late. i worked in a service center before switching jobs. i had one rule about being on time, you can be here anytime between 6am and 10am. Late once a quarter, big woop, things happen. Late 3 out of 5 days, don't plan on being on my "good employees" list. if you aren't at work on time, what other kind of crap are you short changing me on.

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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    skeldare wrote: »
    Derrick wrote: »
    If you're working in an "At Will" state, they can fire you for absolutely anything and not give you a reason.

    This. Unfortunately there's not really a whole lot you can do.
    there are certain reasons which are absolutely not legal under US Federal law. race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, and, to a lesser extent, gender/sexual orientation.

    but, yeah, anything else is pretty much fair game :|

    don't be absurd - companies can fire you for any of those things if they want to. They don't have to SAY that's why they did it.

    Thankfully, due to the magic of "circumstantial evidence", the person doing the wrongful act doesn't have to admit that they were firing someone for an improper purpose.

    OP: What happened to you wasn't fair. It's clear they're trying to fire as many people as fast as possible. Nothing inherently unlawful about that. I don't think the course of action you took was that great of an idea, but for someone else to "get away" with it a brief time before you did in very similar circumstances, while you are punished for it, is the very essence of unfairness. That doesn't mean you have a legal remedy for the way in which you were shafted, but don't let people shame you too much. Having a job that requires you to be there at a certain time on the dot sucks. I would blow my brains out if I had that kind of job - currently I work 50-80 hour weeks, but mostly on my own schedule. People didn't evolve obeying the kind of schedules modern American employers inflict on their employees. Humans are meant to respond to rhythms of daytime and nighttime and throughout pre-history worked less than we do now in much less sedentary tasks, so don't let all the industrial-age puritanism about shift work on the thread get to you.

    If you can track down a free consult with a lawyer, there may be some sort of cause of action to be found, but I would not get your hopes up. I know almost nothing about employment law and know nothing of the laws of your jurisdiction, but it will make you feel better if you go talk to somebody and explain to them the bonus situation and the context in which you were fired. I wouldn't be optimistic but at worst you'll have more closure.

    kaliyama on
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    Man, what?

    Most jobs require you to be at certain place at a designated time. You can wax philisophical about what it means to be human all you want, but the hard truth is that he brought this upon himself by being late repeatedly and having a lackadaisial attitude about the whole thing.

    He needs to learn that this kind of attitude and aloofness doesn't fly in the real world. If he takes away anything from this thread, I hope it's that he needs to be more responsible and not more "if everyone else is doing it..."

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