Thanks everyone for your input. Also thanks for discussing this at the other Meta site. I think I worded my question incorrectly and I WAS expecting a one size fits all answer that I now realize I won't get. What I’m trying to ask is: is demanding/asking for compensation for floaters common knowledge by all? I personally didn't know to ask and I don't know how many other friends/family/colleagues know/don't know.
Perhaps my situation will clarify why I'm asking. Several yrs ago, I got laid off. When I started employment, we were given 2 floaters off the top. We could take them immediately (to my recollection).
After I got laid off, I checked my last paycheck and the numbers looked correct for my accrued vacation days and final wages. I didn’t think about asking for compensation for my floaters. I naively thought the company would automatically pay whatever’s owed to me and didn’t think to ask for/account for the floaters. Fast fwd a few yrs, this came up while talking with an old co-worker. He said I could have demanded it when I was laid off. If this is considered common knowledge, to demand pay for floaters, no one told me before, not HR, not friends, not parents.
Before posting this question on , I checked the CA employment laws
Since I work in CA, this is what it says:
The way an employer’s policy defines personal days or floating holidays is critical to the issue of whether unused days must be paid out at the end of the employment relationship. Time off which is tied to a specific event is treated as a holiday and need not be paid out at termination. Time off which is not tied to a specific event must be treated the same as vacation time, which accrues and vests, and therefore must be paid out at termination.
Since these days were not tied to a specific event (my b-day, Pres. Day, etc.), it sounds like they should have paid it out to me. I don't know the policy from my previous company so I don't know if there was a clause they are using to not pay the floater.
The reason I asked on this site was to get a second opinion. I’m sorry again to have worded my question so poorly in the beginning. Thanks again for everyone's input and help in this matter. I now know to ask in the future =)