CEO Requests Staff 'Donate' Their PTO Days To Employee Of 17 Years Who 'Exhausted' Hers

It was an outrageous request to make.

frustrated woman working on computer Yan Krukau / Pexels

Depending on the job a person works, they are usually afforded PTO (paid time off), which can include vacation days, sick leave, jury duty, or personal time. These jobs are often office-related, or involve teaching, law, nursing, and even pilots.

But what happens when an employee runs out of PTO? Should they have to rely on their colleagues to "donate" their own PTO days?

That's the dilemma one Reddit user posted about. Submitting a photo on the r/antiwork subreddit, the user posted a request from a CEO that they deemed “pathetic.”


A CEO requested that staff members ‘donate’ their PTO days to an employee of 17 years who ‘exhausted’ all of hers.

The announcement was made to all employees of the unnamed company. On the notice, the CEO stated that a “long-term employee of 17 years… has been in the hospital and rehab for several months. She has exhausted all her PTO days and her benefits are running out. As you can imagine, this has been quite a drain on her family’s income.”

The CEO asked other employees to donate "one or more days of their PTO" to the sick employee, adding, “Thank you for your consideration.”


CEO Requests Staff Donate Their PTO Days To Sick Employee Of 17 YearsPhoto: Reddit

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After the Reddit user posted the image, there was swift outrage from the r/antiwork community.

Many proclaimed it was an unnecessary guilt trip against hardworking employees at the company.


“This is manipulation and disgusting [that] they would do that. It’s not the worker’s responsibility to pay other coworkers,” one user wrote. Another took issue with the line “it’s a drain on her family’s income,” by responding, “so you the CEO can choose to pay your worker of 17 years while they’re having a hard time.”

Others felt similarly, noting that it’s in the CEO’s hands to offer more PTO to the employee in need.

“If anyone at any company has the power to just give PTO days to a 17-year veteran of the business, you would think it would be the President/CEO,” said one person.

“It’s crystal clear that companies don’t care about employees no matter how much time you give or how much profit you generate. Once you stop being useful, you’re out,” someone else pointed out.




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There is unified disgust for the lack of care some companies offer to their sick employees.

As many pointed out, it appears that this company doesn't value their long-term employees enough to offer more PTO, without having to impact other workers. But it's hardly an uncommon occurrence.

In the United States, the average worker has 11 days of vacation time and eight sick days per year, as well as just about eight paid holidays. That's considered incredibly low compared to other countries, where some workers may receive up to 50 days of PTO.


The United States is also the only country that has no guaranteed holidays or PTO. It's no wonder so many employees suffer from work burnout and the inability to balance their home life with their careers!

According to one study from 2023, "access to paid sick leave means less occupational injury, spread of contagious disease, presenteeism (the act of workers going to work while ill), and employee death." Additionally, offering employees paid sick leave "was related to favorable business conditions such as employee morale and job satisfaction, improved retention, higher profitability and firm performance, and favorable labor market conditions..."



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So while studies have shown that offering paid sick leave is an incredible benefit to their businesses, why do some CEOs, like the one mentioned above, put the pressure on their employees to "donate" their own hard-earned PTO to their colleagues?

CEOs, the ones who are, essentially, in charge of the PTO policy, could certainly change protocol to accommodate their employees, especially those who have been there for nearly two decades. The fact that this particular CEO is guilt-tripping his other workers shows how disposable employees are to management.

They could use their power to make a beneficial change that could positively affect their sick employee's life, create a fundraiser for the employee, or find any way possible to help them — other than trying to coax their workers to do the job for them.


In life, things will happen that require employees to use up all or most of their paid sick leave and time off. The least companies can do is show their workers some empathy, not prove how, time and time again, greed is the only thing that matters.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, celebrities and pop culture, relationships and self-help, along with parenting and career.