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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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My company has a PTO policy. We get x number of hours per

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My company has a PTO policy. We get x number of hours per month that are accrued for us to use for vacation time, personal time, sick days, etc. We work a 37-1/2 hour week with a 1 hour lunch daily. The 1 hour lunch MUST be taken. For example, if I have a dr.'s appt. and am out of the office from 10:00 to 11:30, I STILL have to take a 1 hour lunch as opposed to putting that 1 hr toward my appt and not taking a lunch. Can they do that? Along those lines, if I have an eye appt. at 1:00 (my normal lunchtime) and get back to the office by 2:00 can they still tell me I have to take lunch? Basically they're saying I can't use my lunch hour for a doctor's appt.

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They can require you to take your lunch in the first example, if it is your regular lunch time. They can mandate that specific period for a lunch.


They can generally tell you not to work for any period of time that they wish, so they can require you to take a two or three hour lunch if they want.


I'm assuming that the point here, for them, is that if you are doing something medically related, then they want that PTO to be used. They don't want it horded, which is not an illegal motivation.


This is legal, because PTO is simply not regulated by state law in that fashion. If the employer has this as a policy for their PTO, that's not going to be illegal.


Now, you don't have to tell them that you are going to a medical appointment, so if you schedule one during your regular lunch break, you really should be able to do it without having them charge it against your PTO.



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