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PTO Pushes Employee over 40 Hours

Hello! I have an employee that is scheduled to work Mon-Fri 8 hours per day, but often works much more, accruing overtime, for which he is paid. However, this past week, he worked Mon-Thu totaling 38 hours and then took Friday as a sick day. He was under the impression that because he worked more than 36 hours, he would not need to submit a Time Off form. Internally policy demands that all employees submit that form, even if they are salaried, so I had him complete the form. However, now HR/Payroll is taking 8 hours from his PTO and applying it to that week, making his total paid hours 46. I could understand taking 2 hours of his PTO to bring his hours up to 40, but why take 8 hours of paid time from someone who already worked 38 hours that week? Is that legal?

Administration of PTO is generally at the discretion of the employer. Though some states have adopted laws regarding vacation/PTO, most simply require employers to abide by the terms of their established practices or policies. There is no federal law or state law (that I’m aware of) that dictates the amount of PTO an employer can require an employee to use.

So, yes, it’s legal and actually very common. Many employers require employees to use their PTO for the time the employee missed from work. In this case, the employee missed an 8 hour day; thus, 8 hours of PTO was deducted. Some employers may allow employees to only use enough PTO to cover them until their regularly scheduled hours are met. But, again, this is completely at the employer’s discretion.

Also, though the employee was paid for 46 hours, he is not entitled to receive overtime. Overtime is only due for hours actually worked over 40 in a given workweek. The 6 hours were PTO accruals not time actually worked.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 at 2:27 pm and is filed under
Benefits, Compensation.
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