Can your employer make you use your PTO so as to prevent layoffs?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can your employer make you use your PTO so as to prevent layoffs?

The company I work for has PTO set up so it will build up time throughout the year. For example, I earn 2.32 hours for each week I work. At the present time we are slow, so they want me to take time off so I would go negative on my PTO. They will not lay anyone off and are insisting we use are PTO. Can they legally make me do this?

Asked on March 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Actually, your employer can make you use your PTO for this reason or any reason. This is because PTO is not legally mandated, that is it is not required to be given. Therefore, to the exrent that it is does provided, an employer has a great deal of discretion over when, how and why it is used. This is true unless this action violates the terms of a union agreement, employment contract or even company policy. Also, this treatment must not constitute any form of legally actionable discrimination.

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