While on PTO, does your company expect you to still call in for staff meetings/ group meetings?
My company was acquired last year, and the culture regarding PTO is a lot different than our previous parent company. The expectation with our old parent company was that if you were on PTO, then you are expected to be out of the office and not on conference calls. If I were to call into a staff meeting while on PTO, my boss would've kicked me off the call. The expectation with the new parent company is a bit different - people call into meetings regularly while they're on PTO, and it's become apparent that is the expectation. It's not clearly stated as such, but it's very common for people to call in while on vacation/ out of the office.
We had a staff meeting yesterday, but I was on PTO yesterday due to needing to attend a funeral. I had told my boss previously that I was going to be out of the office to attend the funeral of a close family friend, and that I would not be able to be on the call. Apart from attending a funeral, our son was admitted to the hospital earlier this week due to a bacterial infection that has turned into MRSA, so I was at the hospital at the time of the staff meeting.
I ended up getting a call from my boss to join the meeting when it started, so I got on but did not turn on my camera. I thought perhaps he needed me on the call as we were going to discuss something important (I.e. yearly goals, performance reviews, bonus payouts, etc., etc.). Turns out, the call was mainly to welcome our new externs and to introduce ourselves individually.
My boss had asked everyone on the call to turn on their cameras so the externs could put a name with a face. I wasn't going to say anything, but by the time it got to me to introduce myself, I was thoroughly annoyed that I was even on the call given the circumstances, so simply stated I wasn't turning on my camera since I was sitting in a hospital room. (Btw, my boss knew my son was in the hospital as I had mentioned it to him Tuesday afternoon when my son was admitted)
I think my boss felt badly about asking me to join - he sent me a note afterward to thank me for joining the call, and extending his well-wishes. I appreciated the note, but was still a bit annoyed that I was expected to join a meeting that was nothing more than a meet-n-greet.