Is my employer required to payout PTO when the policy changes from accrued PTO to unlimited PTO

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Is my employer required to payout PTO when the policy changes from accrued PTO to unlimited PTO

Hi,

I live in California. My employer announced in early Dec 2017 that our company
was moving from an accrued PTO policy to an unlimited PTO policy on Jan 1, 2018.
Accrual per year is based on tenure. At the time, I had banked 300 hours of PTO.
The company is requiring those who have banked PTO use their banked PTO first and
then will transfer to the unlimited PTO plan. Is this legal or is the company
required to pay out the banked PTO for those who have it?

Asked on January 29, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, the company is not required to pay out the accrued PTO first. They do have to give you a chance to use it--they can't simply take it away--but so long as they do give you a chance to use it, they can set reasonable deadlines on its use and/or require its use before moving to a different PTO plan. Many people treat their PTO as if it's deferred income or a bonus cashable later, but it's not: PTO *is* "paid time off* and its purpose is to let the employee take time off without losing income. As long as you are given the chance to use it, that is all that is required.


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