PTO vs. Unpaid Time Off

[FONT=Century Gothic][I]Hello forum! This may get lengthy, but please read through and any advice would be greatly appreciated![/I][/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic][I]Our current PTO policy is as follows: Our employees get their yearly PTO time upfront. Some employees (in January) will schedule their entire PTO throughout the year, leaving a 0 balance. Then, when call-offs happen, they have nothing to use against this call-off, but will still be paid later in the year for previously scheduled time. We don't think it's fair that they don't have to use what they have as it occurs.[/I][/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic][I]We tossed around the idea of saying that if all PTO is scheduled to be used for the year, and a call-off happens, then time would be pulled from the last scheduled PTO to cover to the call off.[/I][/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic][I]It may be the issue of giving PTO upfront, but we don't see how fair it is that they don't get paid for the call off, but do get paid for that week long vacation in December.[/I][/FONT]

[FONT=Century Gothic][I]Omigosh! I hope that made sense![/I][/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT]
[FONT=Century Gothic][I]Again, any guidance would be HUGELY helpful![/I][/FONT] :help:


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You call this lengthy? It looks short compared to some of mine. :o

    Is your upfront PTO based on the prior year's work? If not, what do you do when someone terms?

    I think it would be very fair to let employees know they may schedule time off, but they are required to use it for sick and personal leave (no leave without pay). A second part of your new rule would be that they cannot take scheduled time off unless they have leave available. Of course, FMLA would be an exception. Plus, you may have some state laws that apply that I am not aware of.

    We accrue PTO. Employees are required to use PTO (and any other leave available) for any time off they take, including FMLA. [U]Except for FMLA, any leave without pay goes against them at review time.[/U]

    I think the last part would be very helpful for your organization. Employees would think twice about scheduling all of their leave if they knew it might hurt them in the end.

    Good luck!
  • Nae Nae.. thank you so much! Our PTO time is based on length of service from our employees. FT employees get 1 week after 90 days, after 2-3 years they get 2 weeks, after 3-5 they get 3 weeks, 6-9 get 4 weeks and after 10 years, it is capped at 5 weeks.

    Does this seem to be "a lot" of time for our staff? We employ approximately 75 employees and are a small, private, family owned business.

    When employees term, they do not have to pay back PTO that has been used.
  • Here is an example: Employee X has 144 hour of PTO to be used in 2011. X has scheduled these hours throughout 2011 already and has a 0 balance.

    Now, when X calls off, let's say in April, this has to be unpaid because there is no time left, but will get the time scheduled in let's say August paid.

    My Managers do not think this is fair...
  • Your PTO time is not unreasonable. We have a similar structure. It is usually based on what your industry standards are, so you will have to be the judge of whether it is fair or not.

    Letting employees use PTO time early when they may be planning on quitting does seem a bit unreasonable to me, but again, what do others in your industry do? If they do not do the same, it might be a good time to change it. If you choose to do so, I would do some kind of combination the first year. Let them get 25-50% up front and then begin accruing or changing it to a plan where they get their PTO at the END of the work period. Either way, I still suggest you take steps to avoid LWOP.

    Good luck!

  • Our employees accrue PTO monthly and can borrow up to 40 hours at a time provided there is enough time left in the year to accrue it back. Time is charged as used. They can subimit requests for PTO for the whole year, but if it isn't there when the time comes, they can't take it. For that reason, as well as department scheduling needs, our supervisors don't usually approve time too far in advance, but hold the requests until closer to the requested time frame.

    It sounds like your system basically allows emloyees to take off as much time as they want. We expect our employees to live within the limits of the PTO we offer. Except for FMLA, they cannot take unpaid time without HR approval (as well as supervisor's), and only if they have no PTO left. Exceeding the PTO limits is reviewed very unfavorably. How much time the company pays for is only one part of the issue. Having employees take excessive time off, even if unpaid, is unfair, disruptive and expensive.

    I think my reply is now longer than your question, but I hope it helps.
  • Your posts aren't too long, Nae... They just feel that way.


    [QUOTE=NaeNae55;721311]You call this lengthy? It looks short compared to some of mine. :o
  • [QUOTE=ACU Frank;721331]Your posts aren't too long, Nae... They just feel that way.


    Hey! I resemble that remark!
  • Our employees must use PTO for all absences, if available, regardless of whether scheduled or unscheduled (we also allow 40 hrs in the negative in certain situations). Our payroll system does not "dock" their bank for that time until the actual day passes. If an employees gets to a point later in the year where they've scheduled a day off, but are now at 0 or in the negative, that day off will be taken as unpaid AND result in a "strike" against them where discipline is concerned.

    It sounds like there definitely needs to be some controls in your system, as well as some sort of accountability on the employee's part. Our policies state that it is up to each employee to budget their PTO accordingly, and there are repercussions for failing to do so.

    Good luck!
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