Is it legal to deny PTO??

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to deny PTO??

The job is short staffed so they wont grant anyone
any PTO even if they have PTO hours…

Asked on April 29, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

PTO is a disceretionary benefit. This means that an employer does not have to offer it; to the extent that it is offered, then an employer typically has a great deal of say as to when or even if it can be used. The fact is that at-will employment (which most work relationships are), a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Therefore, unless there exits an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, your company's action is legal. Your only recourse here is if your treatment is due to some form of legally actionable discrimnation (i.e. based on your race, religion, gender, disability, nationality, age, etc.).

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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