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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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