Can an employer force us to use PTO one day a month?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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Can an employer force us to use PTO one day a month?

Asked on August 22, 2011 Massachusetts


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You didn't give mush by way of the facts, however, the majority of employment arrangements are "at will". This means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason at all. It also means that it can also increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as they see fit.  Absent something in the nature of an employment agreement, a union contract, or a stated company policy this holds true; also if some type of discrimination is a factor.

More specifically, employees typically see vacation as an automatic condition of employment; something that they can use as they see fit. However the law doesn't see it this way. The fact is that vacations are not legally required. To the extent that an employer institutes a PTO policy it is a discretionary benefit and as such the employer can design it any way that it chooses. This includes when an employee must use this time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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