If given vacation and sick days for years of service do you still have to earn them during the year in order to get paid?

I’m in a union and during first year I have no sick or vacation pay. Since my time acquired Ive received a number of both. However I dont get paid until I’ve earned the time during the year. Meaning if I take a vacation or sick day early in the year I will not get paid for it until my hire date arrives so essentially I take my days off without pay until my hire date and get paid off. I believe I earned them in that first year of employment when I didn’t get any. Can you help me understand this?

Asked on March 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There is no general rule or law on this subject: paid time off is not required of companies, so if they do provide PTO, they are free to put whatever rules on acquiring or using it they like. If there is a contract (union or personal) addressing the subject, the terms of the contract must be honored; otherwise, this is determined what whatever policy the company chose to adopt.

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