Worker Revealed She Was Punished For Taking 'Too Many Sick Days' Despite Having Unlimited PTO

She claimed that unlimited PTO is just a scam and employees are sometimes shamed for utilizing it.

TikTok of woman explaining how she got in trouble at work @cuddleswpuddles/TikTok

While many people automatically assume that having unlimited time off from work means, well, unlimited time off from work, one woman has claimed that is not always the case.

In a TikTok video, a woman who goes by the username @cuddleswpuddles revealed that she actually got in trouble with her boss for taking time off, despite having unlimited PTO. She admitted that as a disabled person, she was a bit taken aback by the response from her boss.


The woman claimed she was punished for taking 'too many sick days' despite having unlimited time off.

"Let me tell you about the time I got in trouble with my job for taking too many sick days while in a position that had unlimited sick leave," she began in her video.

She shared that she is disabled and her job was aware of that. Explaining that she worked in the healthcare field managing clinical trials and working with doctors' offices and pharmaceutical companies, she admitted that she had always been good at her job and kept up good relationships with everyone working with her.

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"Because I'm disabled I took over 10 sick days in a calendar year, and I was so surprised when I received a warning from my manager," she revealed, adding that she never thought something like that would happen since she managed to cultivate good working relationships with people, including her boss.

She acknowledged that it wasn't her manager's fault and that she had only been following the company's policy. The warning she was given stated that any employees who take more than 10 sick days had to get the notice, and if they continue to take "too many" sick days, they would be fired.

"I was very confused because I had an unlimited PTO [and] unlimited sick day position," she pointed out. "But when 99% of companies say 'unlimited PTO' and 'unlimited sick leave,' it's a lie, which was absolutely the case at my company."



Despite taking her manager's advice and applying for FMLA sick leave so that her company wouldn't fire her, she still felt an immense amount of pressure to keep showing up which eventually led to her quitting.


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Companies giving employees unlimited time off can oftentimes have equal pros and cons.

Unlimited paid time off policies have started gaining popularity recently, especially since they provide employees with greater flexibility and autonomy over their time off. According to a 2022 Wellness Barometer Survey on the state of employee well-being, 78% of workers admitted they wanted a better work-life balance, with 72% expressing a desire to receive flexible time off.

Allowing employees to have unlimited time off does have its pros, including workers having more flexibility with being able to plan vacations, appointments, or breaks without having to worry about a fixed number of days. Unlimited PTO also promotes employees putting their well-being first by acknowledging the importance of rest, relaxation, and self-care. When employees have the freedom to take breaks as needed, they can recharge, reduce stress levels, and maintain better work-life integration. 

However, sometimes unlimited PTO can blur the lines between work and personal life. Some employees can sometimes feel pressured to work constantly and hesitate to take days off for fear of coming across as lazy or unproductive.


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In the comments section, people shared similar circumstances happening at their jobs.

"I had an unlimited sick day position and got in trouble for taking four sick days in a year," one TikTok user wrote. Another user added, "I had like 7 paid sick days working, and I got in trouble for using some of them, I didn't even use all of them."

A third user hinted at the work culture in America, and how employees often don't use up all of their paid time off. "In America, vacations are frowned upon and largely unused. I get 10 paid days a year, and 3 sick days. So much catch-up work upon returning."

It seems for unlimited PTO to actually work, managers need to provide detailed regulations regarding how much time a worker can take off at one time and create a specific guideline to ensure a healthy work-life balance


It's important for organizations to carefully consider the potential implications and tailor their time-off policies to suit their employees' unique needs.

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Nia Tipton is a Brooklyn-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.