Can an employer take away earned PTO time without notice or option to pay out for your earned PTO?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer take away earned PTO time without notice or option to pay out for your earned PTO?

I work for a not for profit near Branson, MO, we have around 120 employees during
peak season and around 30 employees during the winter. The company is switching
to a new time keeping company and not allowing the salaried managers to roll over
more than 80 hours of PTO. Regular hourly staff cannot roll over more than a
couple of days. This will go into effect December 31st, 2018. No written or
verbal notice or confirmation has been given to either the salaried staff or the
hourly staff. I know one salaried manager is losing 70 hours of PTO, and hourly
staff is losing days as well. No notice was given, and we still do not have
definite answers to what will happen to our PTO. Our HR is very shady and tells
one person one thing, and another person a different story. She is the only HR
person for our company, so I don’t know who to ask.

Asked on December 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your state (MO) does not make PTO something you have a right or entitlement to (i.e. it is not paid out at time of separation from employment, unless you have a contract guarantying payout). PTO policy is at employer discretion, and the law recognizes an employer's right to modfiy PTO policy. What you describe--reducing the carry over of PTO--would most likely be legal.

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.

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