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California Question about time...

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  • California Question about time...

    Hello. I work in California and I would like to know if anyone can answer my question.

    My question is if an organization can force you to use paid time off (PTO) before using sick time if you are sick. Let me fill in some background information.

    The organization I work for is educational, a private school, which means that we get a lot of days off from work during a calendar year. The problem with all of these days off is that it forces the employees to use their PTO to make up for pay they would lose when not at work. Just a quick run down, There are about two days in January and February, March or April usually has five days of spring break, August has ten days, September has at least one day, November has three days, and December has 10 days. This does not include some holidays I may have forgotten.

    My organization claims that they have paid holidays, but it's misleading because that paid holiday comes from PTO, whether you want it to or not. In the long run, no one has enough PTO to cover all the days that are off during the year.

    Every pay period, employees accumulate PTO time and sick pay. The organization policy, which is what my question is about, states that in order to use sick pay, one would have to use three consecutive days of PTO before sick time can be utilized. Is this legal to force those who maybe sick for only three days to use their PTO that they do not have enough of to cover all the regular days off during the year without ever tapping into their sick pay?

    Also, is it legal to force "paid holidays" to come from the PTO pool as well? Even if an employee has zero PTO hours, if a holiday comes around at that time, that holiday will put the employee into the negative.

    I question all of this because, in California, this organization tried to prevent the employees from taking breaks until one employee brought it to their attention that if employees are not offered breaks, they can get paid an extra hour pay. Three days later, they instituted a break policy.

    That behavior makes me wonder if they are doing things right with their PTO policy.

    Any assistance would be useful.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Forced Vacation

    I couldn't find anything definitive that would prohibit your employer's requirement that you must use vacation before you can use sick. However, I have a strong suspicioun that their practice is legal. The reason I believe that is that the state views rules on the use of sick time is at the discretion of the employer. You may want to verify that your employer's practice is legal by talking to the state's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply. I will use your advice to find out if it is illegal or not.


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