Can employers deny time off based on performance?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can employers deny time off based on performance?

I am an hourly plus commission employee. We earn paid time off based on hours worked. Can my employer refuse to let me use my paid time off based on my sales performance?

Asked on April 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Within reason, yes, they can do this. While they cannot indefinitely or permanently bar you from using your time off, since to so would be to effectively take the PTO away from you (PTO you can never use is valueless), thus violating the agreement (if only an oral one) pursuant to which you did work in exchage for certain pay and benefits, employers do have a great deal of discretion in when they allow employees to sue PTO. They could use that discretion to prevent you from using PTO while your performance is down, on the reasonable grounds that you don't need time away from work--you need to spend more time making sales.

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