What to do if my employer is not allowing PTO to be used?

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What to do if my employer is not allowing PTO to be used?

Our office has given us 10 days of PTO with a maximum accrual of 10 days a year. Now they are trying to tell me I can’t use a day at a time in order to fall below the cap. Is this legal? They’re basically telling me I can only use my PTO if I take between 3-10 days off at a time. Taking a day just so I can’t start accruing again won’t be allowed.

Asked on February 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is most likely legal. From what you write, the employer is not refusing you the right to use PTO; it  is putting conditions on how or when you use it, such as by requiring it to be used in larger chunks, or even all at once.

Employers, however, may set terms and conditions on how and when vacation or other PTO may be used; they are allowed to require employees to use it when and in such fashion as the employer finds less disruptive. If you had no opportunity to use PTO, that would be one thing--that would likely be illegal, since it would effectively deprive you of a benefit you are working for. But since you can use it, albeit just not quite the way you'd like, the employer would seem to be able to put this restriction on it.


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