Is it legal to change/reduce a PTO request after it’s already been approved and without your knowledge or consent?

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Is it legal to change/reduce a PTO request after it’s already been approved and without your knowledge or consent?

A month ago I requested to take paid time off PTO for the week of 07/04-07/08 and it was approved. While I was out that week, my manager emailed me my work email saying that he changed my PTO request from 4 days to 3 days instead since I would be receiving holiday pay for 07/04. Is it legal to change a PTO request after it’s already been approved like that? Should I go to HR and fight it? I only ask because I was really depending on that extra day’s pay to help pay rent. Any advice you can provide would be great.

Asked on July 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

PTO is a discretionary benefit. This means that an employer need not provide it. Further, to the extent that it does give it, it has a great deal of say over when and how PTO is used. Therefore, if your employer mistakenly approved PTO for a holiday, then it can change an approved PTO request. While seemingly unfair, it is legal. The fact is that in "at will" employment, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This all holds true absent an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement to the contray. Also, your treatment must not have constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is perfectly legal.
1) An obvious error or mistake can be corrected: it was obviously an error to approve you for PTO on a holiday day.
2) The employer has no legal obligation to you twice for the same day, including PTO and holiday pay.


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