Can a PTO [all-inclusive] policy for IL designate that employees leaving/termed within their 90 day probationary period be ineligible for any accrued PTO payout? Our policy indicates that PTO is accrued from date of hire for all employees but awarded after completion of the 90 day probationary period?
Also, how should PTO usage be defined for exempt employees? Do exempt employees have to use PTO in full day increments? Since they are exempt, and they work part of the day, wouldn't they be entitled to the full day's wages w/out having to use PTO? Thanks so much!
01-26-2007, 11:36 AM
Illinois can be kind of tricky and I'm honestly not 100% positive of the answer to the first one. I THINK you're okay with that as long as the policy is in writing, spelled out clearly, and communicated to the employees ahead of time. Double check with IDOL just to be sure.
As far as the second question is concerned, that's entirely a matter of company policy. The DOL has taken the position that they don't care what "bucket" the wages come out of, as long as the employee gets paid for the full day. They do not object (and neither does any state except California, and not always there) to your requiring them to use PTO time in partial day increments to cover partial days increments. Whether you do so or not is up to you.
01-30-2007, 08:28 AM
I have similar questions, but specifically what constitutes a half-day? As an employer we have a policy to use 1/2 day time from the PTO bank if an exempt employee takes a half day (sick, personal, whatever) but does that mean it must be over four hours? If an exempt employee has a 1/2 day left in his/her PTO bank and is gone for 3 hours, can we use up that 1/2 day?
01-30-2007, 09:48 AM
Half a day is whatever the employer defines it to be. If the policy is that PTO can only be used in 4-hour increments, then the employer can certainly charge the employee's bank for 4 hours of PTO, even though only 3 hours was missed. However, exempt employees CANNOT have their salary docked for partial day absences (for example, if absent for 5 hours, but only had 4 hours in his PTO bank), unless the absence is FMLA-related.
01-30-2007, 10:37 AM
So, this statement, "Personal Days are only usable in 1/2 increments. Absences of more than 2 hours, but less than 1/2 day count as half day." is okay? I'm guessing change the ...,but less than 1/2 day to "Absences of more than 2 hours constitute a half day absence." I saw this earlier today and it worried me about our policy....
The court observed that docking leave accruals for partial day absences does not result in employees forfeiting vacation accrued, it merely “regulate[s] the timing of exempt employees’ use of vacation time by requiring them to use it when they want or need to be absent from work for partial-days.” The appellate court clarified partial-day to mean an “absence of four or more hours in a single day.”
Based on this new appellate court opinion, employers may dock leave accruals for exempt employees’ partial day absences due to illness or personal/vacation time. Employers should not, however, dock accrual balances for absences of less than four hours – the appellate court would not consider an absence of less than four hours to be a “partial day.” Finally, if there is not sufficient leave accrued for a partial day absence, the employee’s actual paycheck must not be reduced for that partial day absence.
Does this only apply to CA? Thanks
01-30-2007, 10:40 AM
It only applies to the states that fall in that court's jurisdiction. Definitely, not Illinois.
01-30-2007, 10:41 AM
Yes, the link you provided and the law discussed therein are California specific.
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