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Adopting a PTO Policy

We are a small company in Florida and we are trying to determine how much time we allow our employees for sick and vacation\PTO. Is there any formula or guidelines that we should be following?

There are neither federal nor Florida State laws that require employers to provide employees with paid time off (PTO) such as vacation or sick time. Also, there is no special formula to determine how much PTO an employer should offer. It’s completely at the employer’s discretion.

When implementing a PTO policy, it’s important to consider how much you can afford to offer as it relates to compensation and productivity loss. Furthermore, to be able to attract and retain quality employees it’s necessary to know the PTO benefits provided by your competitors.

It’s common to provide two to three weeks of PTO (1-2 weeks of vacation and 1 week of sick time). Keep in mind PTO is considered an essential benefit to many employees. Thus, consider surveying your employees to determine their needs.

In addition to the amount of PTO time provided, there are other factors to consider when adopting a PTO policy.
• How will PTO be awarded, lump sum vs accruals? Is carryover allowed?
• Will the amount of PTO increase per years of service?
• Who is eligible for PTO? Is there a waiting/probationary period?
• How do employees request time off? How far in advance must the request be made?
• Are there any blackout periods during which time off is not permitted? Will you reserve the right to deny an employee’s vacation request based on business operations?
• What increments of PTO are permitted, half an hour, full hour etc?
• What happens to any unused PTO when an employee is either terminated or resigns?

Though some states have adopted laws regarding the administration of PTO benefits, Florida is not one of them. Still, it’s important to have a clear easily understood PTO policy so employees understand their benefits and are treated in a consistent manner.

Lastly, it’s worth considering what happens if an employee exhausts their PTO bank but needs time off. Will unpaid personal leaves be allowed? If so, how much time would be permitted, who would be eligible?

Of course, you must consider your legal obligations to provide unpaid leaves of absence if you’re covered under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


This entry was posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2016 at 2:18 pm and is filed under
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