Man talking(l+r), PTO memo on deskt(c)

Nor Sham Soyod/Shutterstock @misteradvocate/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Unlimited is so obviously a scam’: Worker advises against unlimited PTO if given the option

'I am always going to take the definite number of days of PTO.'


Allyson Waller


Posted on Mar 13, 2024   Updated on Mar 13, 2024, 4:29 pm CDT

Although there’s a certain appeal about unlimited paid time off, one man is warning people it can be better to have a definite number of PTO days to ensure, especially in cases where PTO days can roll over to the next year or employees can receive a payout for days they didn’t use.

In a recent video, TikTok creator Samy Harmoush (@misteradvocate) explained why he’s such a proponent for receiving a specific number of PTO days. As of Tuesday evening, his video has received more than 540,000 views. Harmoush describes himself as a “workers’ rights employment lawyer,” who’s licensed to work in New York, California, and Washington D.C.

The Daily Dot reached out to Harmoush via TikTok comment for more information.

“I am always going to take the definite number of days of PTO,” Harmoush said in the video while sitting in his car. “Not only does it allow me to increase year over year and ask for that as a form of compensation. But if I’m in a state like California where I get to get paid out any PTO that I have accrued. I’m going to get a nice fat check, along with my final check when I resign from that job. It seems to make a lot more sense and it’s easily enforceable.

In his video, Harmoush pointed out how unlimited PTO is usually a benefit some tech companies like to flaunt to attract employees. According to Fortune, reasons why companies such as Microsoft and Netflix may offer paid time off is because it helps them save money when they don’t have to pay out unused time. Also it’s less of a hassle in terms of administrative tasks.

“When you have unlimited PTO, it’s kind of hard at the end of the day to determine if you’re owed anything because you took all the time you needed,” Harmoush said.

Despite the chatter online about unlimited PTO, a wide swath of companies do not offer unlimited leave. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, only 6% of companies indicated that they offer the benefit.

In California, employers are required to provide paid vacation or sick leave. They also require employers to pay out PTO when an employee leaves a company or has unused days, LinkedIn reports.

@misteradvocate If I’m gonna make a choice on PTO, you will never catch me doing anything but getting the specific number of days I get off throughout the year. I’ll take that every single day rather than some wishy-washy promises of unlimited time (your manager can reject if the business can’t permit you to take time off). #workersadvocatelaw ♬ original sound – Samy Harmoush, Esq.

Viewers seemed to agree with Harmoush’s line of reasoning, although some expressed how they’ve never had a problem with unlimited PTO.

“I have never once been denied requesting time off with unlimited PTO. Y’all need better managers. Stay safe,” user @fkaosnenfiendk said.

“Unlimited PTO is a scam any time you try to take days off they guilt trip you and hold promotions and raises back,” said user @solo_moneyy, who clearly prefers his PTO days to be a definite number.

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*First Published: Mar 13, 2024, 8:00 pm CDT