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Forced Vacation and Forced Extra Hours - California

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  • #16
    But they SHOULD be tied together since CA views PTO as wages (Thanks Patty) and since most companies in CA include the amount of PTO in legally binding offer letters. This is the same thing as NOT paying out vacation time when I quit. The whole point of PTO (Paid time OFF) is to get paid while not working, not to get paid while procastinating and having to work harder to catch up afterwards. Why even offer PTO if you are still required to do the same amount of work just in a shorter time span. As a salaried employee isn't that the point?


    Obviously I am beating a dead horse here since it is clear that our labor laws (in this aspect) favor the employer over the employee. Thanks for your time though.

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    • #17
      Just to be clear, CA (and IRS) regard almost any payment made because of the employment relationship to be "wages". If it makes someone happy to call vacation pay wages, fine and dandy, but it is not the big deal it is made out to be.

      The key is in CA an actual CA law (CLC 227.3) that says vacation is legally vested. Meaning once earned, as matter of law it must eventually be paid. At what point it is paid, it does indeed become wages, but that is true for everything else that is paid.

      While CA is not the state with some type of vacation rules, the vesting provision is arguably unique among states. And in all of the other 49 states, you pay vacation, that is also called "wages", not because it is vacation, but because it was paid. Most states tend to be "follow your policy" as far as vacation is concerned. CA goes a step further and creates a number of rules that the policy must contain.

      Patty very correctly points out that sick pay is NOT vested in CA. I have never worked for a company that paid out sick pay balances upon termination and it was perfectly legal for them not to do so. Vacation and sick pay are legally very different things, at least until they are actually paid and turned into "wages".
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #18
        Whether they "should" be tied together or not is a matter of opinion. And right now, it's neither your opinion nor mine that counts; it's the opinion of the good folks in Sacramento and Washington DC.

        I wasn't trying to be nasty when I pointed you at your elected officials. If you want to get a law changed, that's the way to do it. But I was also being realistic when I suggested that you not hold your breath waiting for a change to those particular laws; in the current economy, and especially in your state just now, many if not most companies are having a hard time staying alive without being mandated to pay employees for not working. Which is what paid vacation comes to. I think that even in employee-friendly California (and despite what you may think now, your state is the employee-friendliest in the US) you're going to see a lot of other laws passed before you see this one.
        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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        • #19
          Understood, as hard as it is to figure out the intonation of someone over the internet it sounded like a "so there!" kinda of post. But we all know what arguing over the internet amounts to...

          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          many if not most companies are having a hard time staying alive without being mandated to pay employees for not working. Which is what paid vacation comes to.
          My point exactly! PTO is by definition "pay for not working". So companies should already be mandated by there own policies to treat it as such. Skirting the crux of it by exploiting a loophole just to reduce the financial liability in case lay-offs are required is unethical at the very least (IMHO)

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          • #20
            Originally posted by DAW View Post
            No one on this website knows what you mean when you say "utilization rate". [U]
            Sorry, just noticed this. My company bills our clients for the work we do. If we were projected, during the initial proposal for the client's contract, to be utilized 100% by one or more clients then we would be able to bill all of our hours to them, and not to our parent company. Our corporate office decreed that everyone should be 100% billable to our clients and so we have contractually obligated work to do for them within the time contraints of the contract. So, by mandating vacation hours to be used (and allowing them to go negative) for my division, where everyone is 100% billable and contractually obligated to work a set amount of hours every month, our corporate office is merely taking PTO and telling us to work from home during our vacation or on the weekends if we don't want to get punished for not completing our contractual obligations.

            Not sure if this changes anything but I didn't want to ignore DAW's question.

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            • #21
              Let me try a much simpler example. This week Bob works 40 hours. Bob is paid for 40 hours but also has his vacation balance reduced. This is illegal under CA law no matter what the policy says under the vesting rules (CLC 227.3). This may or may not be illegal in other states. There are certainly states that would not care even a little bit about this situation.

              Things like "billable to clients" are not part of any states rules on vacation. The following thing you said is of interest:

              our corporate office is merely taking PTO and telling us to work from home during our vacation or on the weekends

              If you can make a very simple focused argument to the state that your vacation/PTO balance is being forfeited without being paid, you have an argument. If you have not done so, please read the references that I cited. You keep bringing points and phrases and arguments that have nothing to do with CA law and which seem to be having the effect of distracting people from what might be an actual issue.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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