Can an employer use more PTO than was actually worked?

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Can an employer use more PTO than was actually worked?

Hello,
I work in a school system and I had taken an approved personal day on a scheduled
half day. My employer took 8 hrs of PTO when all other staff members only worked
a half day. When I asked about it I was told that because I requested the day off
i had to use all 8 hours even though it was only scheduled as a half work day.

Asked on December 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, in this they can do this if you are a salaried employee. Salaried employees either work on a day or they don't; their hours are not counted. So a salaried employee gets her full daily salary if she works *any* time during the day; she is only not paid if she does not work at all. Only days, not hours or part-days, are counted for salaried employees. So a half-day for a salaried employee is the same thing as a full day; if you took a half day off, you still need to use a full day's PTO for the purpose.
If you are an hourly employee, however, your time is tracked and you are paid by the hour. If you miss X hours of work (e.g. 4 hours), then you have to use X hours of PTO (so, again in this case, for example, 4 hours) to cover the absence. If you were an hourly employee, they should oly have used a number of hours of PTO equal to the number of hours you took off.


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