Can my employer dock my PTO because I forgot to fill out a time card even though I worked that day?

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Can my employer dock my PTO because I forgot to fill out a time card even though I worked that day?

I am a salary/exempt employee and I work at least 40 hours a week and sometimes more. However my employer requires that we fill out a time card to keep track of our time, and if there are days we forget to fill out on the time card they will dock us PTO for that day. Even though we worked a full day that day and simply forgot to fill out our time card. How can they charge us for a day of PTO even though we worked? That would be like giving up 9 hours for free.

Asked on August 16, 2011 Utah

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

PTO is a discretionary benefit. This means that an employer does not have to provide. To the extent that it does provide it, it can dictate just when and why it is or is not used. The fact is that in an at-will employment arrangement an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment as it sees fit; an employee in turn can choose to work for that employer or not. So unless this violates your employer's own policy, or this action runs counter to an employment contract/union agreement, or some form of actionable discrimination is a factor, no law has been broken. Your employers action is perfectly permissible.


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