Can company take away a paid vacation because of re-classification?

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Can company take away a paid vacation because of re-classification?

I’m an exempt employee in CA with unlimited PTO. I was granted 2 weeks of vacation in May. My status is now changing to non-exempt with 3 weeks of PTO. The company is now saying I no longer get the paid vacation and will be docked pay. Is this legal since the request and approval was given months

ago when I was Exempt?

Asked on February 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Exempt and non-exempt refer to eligibility for overtime; in the law, they have no relationship to benefits or vacation time, though a given employer could voluntarily choose to reference them in regards to determining eligibility for PTO or other benefits.
2) If you had "unlimited PTO," you did not in fact earn or accrue any: you simply had the right to take time off, subject to employer approval (using PTO is always subject to employer approval as to when, under what circumstances, etc.). Because you did not earn or accrue any specfic amount of PTO as part of your employment, you did not in fact lose anything when they said you could not go on vacation then--i.e. there were no days of compensation you'd earned through working which were taken away. Therefore, yes--in this case, because you did not lose accrued time or compensation, they can do this.


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