My employer switched to a PTO format. Sick days have to come out of your PTO bank now. All employees received more PTO days except 30 year employees. Is this discrimination?

30 year employees did not get any additonal time. If a 30 year employee become
sick she has to use her original vacation allowance as sick time. All other
employees received extra days under this new policy.

Asked on December 17, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It would likely be discrimination if there was no legitimate business purpose for the differential treatment. Examples:
1) It is well-established that employers may set caps on how much PTO may be accrued or carried over. If the reason that the 30 year employees did not get more time is they already had so much they were at or over the cap, that would not be discriminatory, since the employer has the legitimate right to control this. It may be affecting the 30 year employees more, but it applies to all staff and serves a legitimate purpose.
2) However, if instead of putting some cap on all employees in regards to how much PTO may be earned or accrued or carried, the employer gave extra time to younger employers but not those 40 years old (that's the critical age under the law) or older, then that would be discriminatory. There is no legitimate purpose to rewarding younger, but not older, staff.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.