Can your employer use your vacation time instead of your sick time without your knowledge?

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Can your employer use your vacation time instead of your sick time without your knowledge?

I was sick so I have medical excuse from work but they use my vacation time instead

of my sick time. Can they do that?

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

PTO (e.g. vacation or sick time) is a discretionary benefit. This means that an employer need not legally provide it. Therefore, to the extent that it does, typically it has a great deal of say over when, how or even if it may be used. This includes using sick time instead of vacation. So unless there exists state law to the contrary, this action was legal. Also, this treatment would be illegal if it violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract or constitued a form of legally actionable discrimination.


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