Can an employer reduce PTO hours without consulting with the employee?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer reduce PTO hours without consulting with the employee?

If an employee has asked for 8 hours PTO it was put on their timesheet as such by their immediate supervisor. Can an employer reduce those 8 hours for a full time employee last minute before submitting payroll to be paid? It is not in the Handbook that they can. It also pays the full time employee 38 hours for the week instead of their full 40. Paid Bi-Weekly. First week was 40 reg hours 2 OT. Second week was 32.00 reg hours 8 PTO reduced to 6 hours PTO. My only guess of why this happened is because of the 2 hrs OT in week 1. When I asked them about it all they kept saying is I was over my 80. Can they do this behind an employee’s back, legally?

Asked on August 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They don't have to let you use more hours than your typical workday is. So say you normally work 6 hours per day; in that case, if you take a day off, they don't have to let you use 8 hours but could restrict you to your usual 6. But as long as you are not exceeding what your normal work hours or shift are for a given day, you can use up to that amount of PTO hours and they cannot arbitrarily reduce them, especially once approved. 
That said, if you and they cannot work this out, your only recourse would be to sue. It is very unlikely to be worth suing for 2 PTO hours, especially if you still have them (they were not taken away) for future use.

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 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption