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Deducting PTO Time Kansas

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  • Deducting PTO Time Kansas

    My employer sent me an email stating that she deducted 8 hours of PTO (Paid time off) from my bank because I didn't take any lunches for the last pay period. I went to talk to her and explained that I didn't clock out for lunch because I didn't actually take a lunch because we have been so busy. I maybe ate some crackers at my desk but that was it. I am a salaried employee as well.

    I protested and said that I shouldn't have PTO time deducted from my account when I didn't actually take it and she said that "by law" I am required to take an hour lunch every day and she had to go into my time clock and add an hour every day which bumped me below 80 hours for the 2 weeks meaning she had to take 8 hours from my PTO bank to make up the difference.

    I spoke to our HR rep, which is an outside company, and she said that there is not a law saying I am required to take a lunch and that she shouldn't have deducted the 8 hours from my PTO bank. She said she would speak to my employer about it.

    I followed up almost 2 weeks later and asked the HR rep if she was able to speak to my employer and she said that she did and she thinks that it won't happen again. I asked when I could expect to get the 8 hours added back into my account and she said that it wasn't worth fighting for and it would cause a big deal with my employer and she wouldn't do it. She said that I had a bunch of PTO still in my account and I probably won't even use it all so I shouldn't worry about it. I pushed it more and she said there is nothing that can be done.

    Is this right? Is there any law that says my employer can't deduct PTO for this, especially when I didn't even take any time off.

    Thanks for any advice or help that can be provided.

  • #2
    Kansas does not have a law that allows PTO or vacation to be considered earned and/or owned by an employee. So no help there.

    A claim to the state and/or federal DOL that you were in fact not paid for time worked because you lost PTO might be a winnable argument.

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    • #3
      Federal law (FLSA) does not care about vacation or PTO (legally the same thing) even a little bit. Some states care about vacation/PTO but they mostly do not care much. I am not an expert on your state but I will assume that the other answer is correct, because it would be correct in most states.

      Except for CA, there is no law that you must take lunch. HOWEVER!!!, there does not need to be. Legally, if the employer wants you to take lunch, then you should take lunch.

      You said you were "salaried". That is just a payment method and does not mean much by itself. If you are Exempt, then hour worked does not matter. If you are non-exempt, then hours worked mean a lot. FLSA cares about minimum wage and overtime, and some states care about base wages in excess of MW.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        To clarify, I am an exempt employee.

        As far as a company rule, there is no rule saying we have to take a lunch. The bosses wife (who does payroll) just came up with it the other day and only applied it to me. In fact, our HR department (outsourced) says I am not required to take a lunch so now I'm getting conflicting directions.

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        • #5
          I am not going to try to tell you that what happened was fair, but it did not violate any laws. Frustrating as it is, this is something you and your employer will have to work out between you.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Agreed. No federal law at all on vacation/PTO. And most states including apparently yours are fine with the employer randomly flushing your vacation/PTO. As long as your salary is paid, the feds are fine. And your state is probably fine as well.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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            • #7
              There is a small handful of states that requires unused vacation to be paid out at termination. There is only one state that cares even a little bit about how it is applied, that state does not care very much, and that state is not Kansas.

              I agree it stinks. If I were in charge it would be illegal. Unfortunately, I am not in charge.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cbg View Post

                I agree it stinks. If I were in charge it would be illegal. Unfortunately, I am not in charge.
                That job is currently still open. The last candidate was an embarrassment even by the very low standards of the current administration. Why not give the big guy a call and let him know you are available?
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                • #9
                  If only I thought my policies would be acceptable to the current administration...
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cbg View Post
                    If only I thought my policies would be acceptable to the current administration...
                    Don't ask, don't tell?
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Treat employees like human beings?
                      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theotherguy View Post
                        To clarify, I am an exempt employee.
                        This changes things somewhat. Since you are an exempt employee for less than full days they shouldn't, as far as payroll in concerned, really care if you are there or not during lunch. Because federal law doesn't allow for less than docking full days missed and then not always.

                        It sounds to me as they are disciplining you for not following a company rule. This is likely legal for all the reason you have already been told. Though I would agree that if you are going to be punished for something there really should be a rule in writing about it.

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