When applying for a new job, the phrase “unlimited PTO” seems like a godsend on the surface. The idea of endless sick days relieves the pressure of dealing with unprecedented illnesses or medical emergencies.
However, one TikTok creator revealed that the seemingly invaluable benefit is too good to be true. In her viral video, @cuddleswpuddles (Cuddles) warned individuals not to trust unlimited PTO claims from most companies.
The creator shared her story of when she got in trouble with management for taking “too many sick days” despite holding a position offering unlimited sick leave. Here’s what happened.
A woman’s work offered unlimited PTO, then threatened to fire her for taking too many sick days.
Cuddles prefaced in her video that she lives with a disability and that her job was well aware of that fact. However, that didn’t stop them from calling her out when she seemingly exceeded her quota of days off.
The creator explained that she had ADA accommodations through her work, “making it possible for an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
(Cuddles then noted that she filed an ethics complaint to corporate because her job denied her ADA accommodations at first.)
Despite her disability, the creator’s workplace apparently issued her a warning when she took over 10 days of sick leave in one calendar year.
Cuddles pointed out that before receiving the cautionary statement, she had only ever gotten positive feedback in her position. “I was good at my job,” the creator posited.
“I had a good relationship with my coworkers. I had a good relationship with my manager. I had a good relationship with my clients,” she said.
As a result, she couldn’t contain her shock when her supervisor told her she had taken too many sick days.
Cuddles explained that there was a corporate policy — that she was unaware of — stating that any employee taking more than 10 days of sick leave would receive a written warning.
And the worst part?
The notice also stated, per the TikToker: “If you continue to take too many sick days — not saying what ‘too many’ meant — then you could be fired.”
The former employee warned others against working for companies that offer unlimited PTO.
“When 99 percent of companies say unlimited PTO [and] unlimited sick leave, it’s a lie,” the creator said in her video. She explained that this was undoubtedly the case at her company.
And because of it, her manager recommended she apply for intermittent FMLA, which “is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons,” per the U.S. Department of Labor.
Although intermittent FMLA prohibited Cuddles’ company from legally firing her, she revealed that she continued to experience increasing pressure from her job over taking additional sick days for her disability.
As a result, she quit her full-time position. “Unlimited PTO is a lie,” the creator concluded in her caption.