Can a company require you to use a 8 hours of vacation/PTO in place of regular hours?

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Can a company require you to use a 8 hours of vacation/PTO in place of regular hours?

I am on travel as a government contractor, salary/non-exempt; no work on Friday due to holiday/job is finished. Company requires me to remain here out-of-state but is requiring me to take 8 hours of vacation on Friday and or take 8 hours of my PTO received for Saturday travel to cover Friday hours (i.e. 10 hours PTO received for Saturday travel minus 8 hours for Friday = 2 hours PTO).

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Every state has different laws regarding work hours, PTO (paid time off), vacation pay, sick pay and the like.  To further complicate matters, it does make a difference whether you work for a governmental entity or a private entity.  In some states, the protections you have for working at any level of government you may not have while working for a private company.  Meaning, the employer may not be required to offer you as part of your employment package a separate sick time and vacation time. It could simply be quantified as paid time off.

What sounds like happened for you as a government contractor, is the requirement to take pto and get pto may be part of your contract.  Ensure all the paperwork you signed includes a provision or the handbook you should have been given include a provision requiring you to only receive a net pto amount of 2 hours for your employer's requirement for you to stay on a Friday. 

Virginia doesn't require any employer to offer employees benefits like holiday or sick or vacation pay.  If they do offer it, they have to honor it.  It sounds like this particular set up is contract based.  You should first review your paperwork and then contact your state's department of labor if you are a state employee.  File a complaint or inquire if you have a genuine concern after you read all of your employment documents.


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