Note: PTO (paid time off) is the equivalent of sick days, flex time, personal days, whatever your heart desires to call a day of leave in which you still get paid.

Here's the scenario:
Employee A is salaried with Fake Company Name. Employee A works hard. Direct Supervisor commends Employee A for hard work, recommends that Employee A reach out to Different Department Head. Different Department Head says "Employee A, we want you on our team but we need to go through the formal interviewing process." Employee A goes back to Direct Supervisor and reports on the conversation. Direct Supervisor says "this is great news".

Fast forward two weeks. Employee A has ~5 hours of scheduled interviews with various leads under Different Department Head. Direct Supervisor says "you have to take a day of PTO to attend these interviews." (Employee A largely bills out to clients and won't be able to do so during the day of the interview.) Employee A's PTO will not change upon taking a role under Different Department Head (that is, PTO is a company wide standard will have the same accrual rate --nor will banked PTO be lost.

Legality aside -- what are the drawbacks of forcing this employee to take PTO here? Obviously if Employee A wanted to interview outside the company PTO would be necessary. Should this be a situation where Employee A doesn't have to take PTO but is required to make up lost work time? Should Employee A bargain during the hiring process to make a special case to get the lost day of PTO back? This is particularly relevant because Fake Company Name, where the above parties work, adhere to US gov't holidays and has only 2 weeks of flexible time off.

Related, but not exactly relevant:

Question about salaried employee applying for contract position within same company

Question about interviewing for a job outside your current employer

  • @JoeStrazzere I agree -- added an edit related to a (hypothetical) explanation of why Employee A is being asked to take PTO Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    So basically, taking time off to do the jumping-through-hoops game for an internal transfer? That sounds dodgy.
    – KlaymenDK
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:30
  • 1
    This sort of question is generally much easier to read if you drop the fiction that "Employee A" is different from "USER_8675309". And please remove all the code markup as well - it's incredibly visually distracting. Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:32
  • @PhilipKendall I am not Employee A. removed the code markup Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:37
  • @PhilipKendall Aside from being visually distracting, it also messes things up for anyone who uses screen readers. (Meta discussion here)
    – David K
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


No that is not fair, and should not be required.

Your applying for a position, a better position for you, within the same company. It appears as though one of the managers is being a bit of a jerk.

Employee A is salaried with Fake Company Name. Employee A works hard. Direct Supervisor commends Employee A for hard work, recommends that Employee A reach out to Different Department Head.

Turnover is expensive, if you are capable of being a lead it is way more beneficial for the company to move you into a lead position within the organization rather than risk you moving on. ( The forced use of PTO to interview within my own company would highly aggravate me and may motivate me to move on )

I went through something similar some time back, and the couple of hours that I interviewed for went into a general administrative bucket - no use of PTO required.

Ultimately you may need to ask your HR folks to verify.


I'm not sure what the question is here.

From the perspective of the soon-to-be-former-manager, the employee is not working on that day. So if s/he wants to be paid, s/he needs to take PTO.

From the perspective of the soon-to-be-new-manager, the employee is not working in that department yet so there is no reason to pay somebody just for interviewing.

From the perspective of the person wanting to change positions: any other interview would require a PTO day as well. That's something that should have been calculated when switching jobs.

So "is it fair"? I don't know. To me it seems fair. No work, no pay. It's certainly weird, I'd expect a company to sponsor a intra-company transfer. But then, to sponsor means to go above and beyond just "fair". So to me, it looks fair. But no more.

  • 3
    Convincing other employees of your company of various things that they need in order to advance the company's goals sounds like work to me. If you're at your place of work, talking to other people who work for the same company as you, about things that directly relate to your present and future work for the purposes of improving the effectiveness of the company, that sounds like you're working to me. Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 19:49
  • I agree "is it fair" is debatable. A solution don't do the entire set of interviews in a single day. In most cases unpaid lunch is required every x hours. Use this time to interview, work with the interviewers, to coordinate your lunch time. Eat a large breakfast, and snacks, to keep your energy up.
    – Donald
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 2:29

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