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"use it or lose it" PTO and reasonable time? Illinois

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  • "use it or lose it" PTO and reasonable time? Illinois

    I understand that Illinois allows companies to use use it or lose it policies for PTO but my question is what does the labor law define as a reasonable opportunity to use them?

    I ask because my employer approached me 1 week ago and stated that I would be losing the 3 days PTO I had earned since my 1 year anniversary in october because I had not met their 8 week deadline for applying use of PTO. They stated that since their were less than 8 wks left in the year that I would not be eligible to take PTO and therefore lose it.

    A few details...I work for a 50 employee hospital where there were only 4 technicians in my dept. 2 left in october, leaving us horribly short and in no way able to take time off.

    During my 1 year review in October, no mention of this deadline was mentioned. In fact the only time this was ever mentioned was December 2006 when I received a letter stating that as of October of 2007 I would be eligible for 3 days. Nothing since

    When I approached management the only answer I received was that it was outlined in my employee handbook (which it is). My question is if this constitutes reasonable opportunity and notice as outlined in Illinois law?

    Am I out of luck?

  • #2
    When you asked the IL DOL, what did they say?
    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.


    • #3
      If it is in the handbook and you had access to the handbook, then you were informed.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


      • #4
        Il. employers can cap vacation (PTO) or require employees to use it by a certain date provided a reasonable opportunity to us it is given. Since you didn't accumulate your 3 days of PTO until Oct. & had to give 8 wks. notice before the end of the yr. to use it, I would contact the Il. DOL & ask if you had a reasonable opportunity to use it. You also indicate you were short of workers & really couldn't take off. It sure won't hurt to talk to the Il. DOL.
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