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Non exempt PTO California

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  • Non exempt PTO California

    I just saw a thread for exempt employees and pto balances.

    I just had a discussion with one of the managers in my company where a nonexempt employee is opting out of her sick day be taken out of her pto balances. it is not stated in our handbook that there is the option of unpaid time off.

    can i legally dock her pto bank for the sick day although she "decided" to inform us she is opting out? if yes, can you help me find a reference for back up? thanks!

  • #2
    The short answer is that the employer can do this because there is no law that says that they cannot. The longer answer goes something like this:
    - Per federal law (FLSA), Non-Exempt employees are paid based on actual hours worked. There is no federal law requirement that Non-Exempt employees ever be paid for hours not worked. Paid time off and paid sick are not federal law concepts. Federal DOL literally could not care less what the employer does to the PTO balance.
    - PTO is a CA law concept and is legally vested once earned under CA law. PTO must be either taken (and paid) or not taken (and paid), but cannot be forfeited. There is nothing in CA law that gives the employee the right to insist the absences can be unpaid or paid at the employee's choice. If the employer chooses to treat all absence as paid (assuming the PTO balances exist), and most employers do, there is no law stopping the employer from doing this. And there is no possible successful recourse to the employee.

    The actual CA PTO rules can be found below:
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      To clarify what DAW said: You can't dock the leave bank and not pay her for it.