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Not allowed to use accrued PTO Florida

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  • Not allowed to use accrued PTO Florida

    We have a handbook that spells out our PTO policy, accrual rates, etc. I currently have accrued PTO. Can my employer now state that accrued PTO cannot be used indefinitely? Time off will be approved, but will not be paid even if sufficient PTO balance. This situation does not involve a layoff, termination, reduction in hours, etc. I could understand changing a PTO policy moving forward, but to not allow me to use my accrued PTO time that I've already earned seems like a retroactive pay cut! Is it just unfair, or violating any labor law?

    Thank you for any feedback!

  • #2
    Florida has no law against "use it or lose it" policies.

    I doubt that your handbook would rise to the level of a binding contract -
    they rarely do. You would need to have it reviewed by an attorney in your area.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

    Comment


    • #3
      And the employer ALWAYS, in all 50 states, gets to say when you can and cannot use your vacation. Unless you have a legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA that expressly says you can use it whenever you want and your employer can't do anything about it (and the chances of that happening are between slim and none) you take your PTO when your employer says you can.

      The only exception I can think of would be FMLA.
      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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      • #4
        Betty, it's not a new 'use it or lose it' policy -- but rather a declaration by the owner that until he says otherwise, all vacations are unpaid. Still allowed time off, still have our PTO balances, but cannot use the balances at all until he says so. Any already approved paid time off has been changed to approved unpaid time off, regardless of how much PTO anyone has accrued.

        cbg, the owner is still approving vacations, but not allowing use at all of accrued PTO. Does that help?

        Comment


        • #5
          It's still legal.
          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


          • #6
            Agree, still legal - sorry.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              If I can maybe rain (just a little) on the parade:
              - If the employee is both Exempt and Salaried, then the 29 CFR 541.602 Salary Basis rules create certain docking restrictions. Lets say that Bob is Exempt Salaried and works 8-8-8-8-7-0-0. The employer says no paid vacation, which is fine. Neither the feds or FL care about paid vacation. HOWEVER, the feds do care about docking Bob's salary for that missing hour. It is not allowed. So Bob might not be paid "vacation" or "PTO", but he is still paid exactly the same money as if he was paid vacation/PTO.
              - If instead Bob voluntarily misses a whole day, say 8-8-8-8-0-0-0, the feds and FL still do not care about vacation/PTO but now the feds do not care about the whole day voluntarily missed. Meaning the feds are ok with docking Bob for that day.
              - If instead Bob works 8-8-8-4-4-0-0, the exact same number of hours in the last example, no docking is allowed because the feds do not allowed Exempt Salaried employees docked for partial days not worked.
              - Lets say Jane is not Exempt and Salaried. Jane is likely S.O.L. on the docking. Most employees in fact have no legal expectation of being paid for time not worked.
              - Employees who are Exempt and Salaried have no legal expectation of paid overtime. The docking restrictions are legally considered to be the trade off for the no paid overtime.
              - Vacation/PTO is simply not a federal law concept. Does not exist as far as the feds as concerned. And FL is generally a "just like federal" state.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

              Comment


              • #8
                Depending on the state, there may be requirements for the payment of PTO balances and vacation in lieu upon termination/resignation. If those requirements exist, PTO expires/does not accrue indefinitely, and the employer is freezing out use of PTO then there may be a violation. But that is a very specific set of circumstances and varies on a case by case basis.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was interpreting the question in terms of whole days, rather that individual hours. IF we are talking about Exempt Salaried employees AND partial days, then DAW is (of course) right.

                  If, on the other hand, we are talking about non-exempt employees OR full days, then the original responses are right.

                  I was really tired last night or I would have caught that myself. Thanks, DAW.
                  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


                  • #10
                    At the time, my mind wasn't registering possible salaried exempt either & also took
                    post to mean full days.
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The problem with answering many labor law questions is in fact the question. The exact wording of the question tends to pull us to a specific answer. While if we step back a little and look at things from a different angle sometimes a slightly different answer presents itself. There is a huge advantage to giving the third or fourth response because the more obvious responses have already been given. It makes it easier to see what has not yet been said.
                      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RRPayroll View Post
                        Depending on the state, there may be requirements for the payment of PTO balances and vacation in lieu upon termination/resignation. If those requirements exist, PTO expires/does not accrue indefinitely, and the employer is freezing out use of PTO then there may be a violation. But that is a very specific set of circumstances and varies on a case by case basis.
                        I happen to know (having had employees in Florida before) that this is not one of those states. Florida has no requirements that unused vacation be paid out, and use it or lose it policies are legal. Florida is, in fact, more or less indifferent to vacation/PTO, and does not even have a department of labor. They default to Federal on wage and hour issues, and Federal law is also indifferent to vacation/PTO except in the situations that DAW has described.

                        You are right that in, say, California or Massachusetts, there could possibly be violations depending on what the employer did with the vacation on the books. But not in Florida.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Agree with cbg. Fl. has no law re the payout of unused vacation time on termination & no law against "use it or lose it" policies.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                          Comment

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