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Standard PTO Policy Disclaimer? Maine

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  • Standard PTO Policy Disclaimer? Maine

    First time poster, but I have been lurking for a while.

    Anyway, it seems that I have seen at least one person endorse a disclaimer for inclusion in a company PTO policy. Now, for the life of me, I can not find reference to this.

    I am converting our holiday, vacation, etc. policy over to a strictly PTO system. Do I need to include a disclaimer/statement to the effect "This policy follows all state and federal statutes..."? Is there any benefit to this or am I mis-remembering a statement to that effect?

    Thanks, in advance, for any assistance.

  • #2
    I have worked for companies who had standard boilerplate language in all company policy that went something like this.

    "It is the intent to minimally comply with all federal and state laws. Any additional actions required by the company should be a function of formally stated company policy. Any exceptions to company policy and legal requirements needs to be formally made in advance by the VP Human Resources."

    These sort of boilerplate language was to avoid a "most favored nations" type of situation where if a state passes a rule (such as CA daily overtime), that all other employees in all other states would claim that they must also be paid daily overtime. There are many states with many state specific rules, some rather obscure. While a company policy saying "ignore state and federal law" would be at best worthless on it's face, the sort of policy mentioned is of some use. Not foolproof, but of some use.

    Paid vacation/PTO is vested in some states, legally restricted (but not vested) in some other states, and not much of anything in some states. It is not uncommon for some employers to want to minimally comply with state law on vacation/PTO. Say 1 employee in CA with legally vested vacation, and 1,000 employees in FL without legally vested vacation. Vesting vacation may or may not be a good thing, but in this case, it would sort of be the tail wagging the dog as far as policy goes.

    Last point and not your question. There is a big advantage to accruing vacation/PTO on a pay period or monthly basis (not annually), and making the accrual conditional on the balance. Say a restriction on 150% annual accrual. Some states really do not care, but many states do. It can be difficult to run a multi state payroll with an annual vacation/PTO accrual.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      DAW,
      Thanks for the reply. That's what I was looking for. We do not have locations in multiple states so I should be all set there. We also have a use it or lose it policy so employees are encouraged to use their time prior to their anniversary.

      I have done a lot of reading around California's policies and I am trying very hard to make sure we are in a favorable position should our state decide to follow suit. We are a small-ish company (135 employees across all divisions) and we want to give employees every benefit we can reasonably offer, but we also recognize the need to protect the company's interests, too. It does not take long after bad legislation is passed to "protect" the employee that businesses start closing and the employees being protected are no longer employed.

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