Can an employer take PTO from a non-exempt employee who refuses to work overtime?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer take PTO from a non-exempt employee who refuses to work overtime?

I am a non-exempt hourly full-time employee. During periods of high work volume my employer will commonly require us to work a specific number of overtime hours per week, usually 20. This year they have stated, ‘if an employee does not get his extra 20 hrs each week they will take the what is needed to get the 20 hours away from our PTO bank.’ This doesn’t sound legal to me at first take, but I don’t know where in the laws it says they can or can’t do that.

Asked on September 7, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is legal. The labor laws require that if an hourly employee works, he or she must be paid for all time worked--and paid overtime, if he or she works more than 40 hours in a week. But that's essentially the extent of regulation in terms of hours worked.
And in terms of benefits, the law does not require that you get *any* PTO; it is legal for employers to not provide PTO. A corollary of that is that since providing PTO is voluntary, employers may put any restrictions, conditions, limitations, etc. they like on it--including that you will lose PTO if you don't work certain minimum hours. The only requirement is that the employer must give you notice of the policy before implementing or enforcing it, which they have evidently done.

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