The Army Of Laid Off BuzzFeed Employees Is Demanding Pay For Their Unused Vacation Days

Medium- BuzzFeed is refusing to pay out earned, accrued, and vested paid time off for almost all US employees who have been laid off. They will only pay out PTO to employees in California, where the law requires it. We understand that in other states where BuzzFeed employees have been laid off, state law does not require you to do so. But employers absolutely can pay out PTO?—?and often do. It is a choice, and for a company that has always prided itself on treating its employees well, we unequivocally believe it is the only justifiable choice.

This is paid time that employees accrued by choosing not to take vacation days, and instead do their work at BuzzFeed. Many of the employees who have been laid off had the most difficult jobs in terms of scheduling?—?such as the breaking and curation teams on BuzzFeed News who regularly worked weekends and holidays, or managers who weren’t able to use vacation time because they were expected to be available to their teams. They saved up those days (or weeks) because they were so dedicated to their work, and, in some cases, felt actively discouraged from taking time off. They have as much of a right to those days as anyone else.

It is unconscionable that BuzzFeed could justify doing so for some employees and not others in order to serve the company’s bottom line.



Against all odds, I find this reasonable. Many of these former employees didn’t take their vacation days because their assignments kept them at work. I’m not sure what the work culture is like in other cities/fields, but at a Manhattan-based media company, it can feel… frowned upon to take a vacation.

Last fall, I told Nate that I was taking a few days off to go play golf with my dad, and he responded that nobody took a day off for the first five years that he worked here. “Things have changed,” he said. (Barstool offers unlimited vacation days, a brilliant policy that makes you think you work for a hip, fun startup. But in reality, you never use the days because you feel like you’re taking advantage of the company’s generosity. Also, in the event that Barstool ever has to pull a BuzzFeed and lay off 15% of our work force, the PTO claims that are happening over there won’t happen here.)

The majority of Buzzfeed’s 200+ laid-off employees will receive no remuneration for their unused vacation days. However, if you’re from either California or MONTANA, your days are protected under state law and the company has to pay you for them. Wow! That is a cool state fact. I’d expect it from that libcuck, dried-out mudflat California. But Montana? Meth central? Didn’t see that coming. If I’m an ex-BuzzFeeder from Montana, I’m taking every opportunity to flaunt my paid time off checks in the faces of every New York, Vermont, and Hawaii native who mocked me for having fewer teeth.

Then I saw the response from BuzzFeed:

Wait… everyone received 10 weeks of severance pay?! WHAT?!!!!!!!!! For some idiotic reason, I assumed these people were upset because they weren’t receiving their PTO pay or anything at all. But no! 10 weeks of full salary and benefits while they hunt for another job, at a time when our economy is so strong that people are ghosting job opportunities. I had no idea that BuzzFeed was the most generous place on earth. I’ll be taking my talents over there as soon as I can delete every blog/tweet/joke I’ve ever posted about rub ‘n tugs/pedophilia/women.

Laws are made for a reason. If you wanted protection for your unused vacation day pay, you should have told your parents to move to California or Montana to raise you.