Can an employer deny earned PTO and also deny to pay it out?

All employees at our company earn the same amount of PTO, it is accrued monthly. Although the company does not have a “use it or lose it” policy, they will only pay out PTO on termination or if you accrue more than 60 days. My department has been told that due to “business need”, they can only offer us 2 weeks of vacation a year. Since no employee earns less than 21 days of PTO a year, this is less than half of what we earn a year. In the summer, we are told the weeks we have been given for the upcoming year and not given the opportunity to request any further time off.

Asked on July 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the labor laws of all states in this country, once an employee has actually earned personal time off (PTO) the employer has to acknowledge the PTO and pay it off UNLESS the employer implements a written policy at least six (6) months in the future that the employee has to use the PTO in the near future or lose it.

I would carefully read your employee employer hand book regarding the use of PTO at your place of business in that its terms should control if not modified in writing.

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