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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17279
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Can my employer tell me not to go to a public place on my PTO

Resolved Question:

Can my employer tell me not to go to a public place on my PTO time?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for your question. However, in order to assist you I need some context and additional information from you. Under what circumstances can PTO be used at your company? In other words, is it only offered for sick time or what? Why do you think your employer told you this (give me detail of where you are going and why they might have said this.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I work for a federal training facility contractor and we had completed a large project and were going on an incentive trip to an amusement park. I was told at 435pm the day before that I would not be allowed to go on trip with the school because I live with another contractor, which they have known about for 2 years. I requested PTO at that time for the next day. PTO time can be used for any personal time off needed.
I took my family to the same park. I was then written up and suspended for one day for insubordination


.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for that reply. However, I am unclear what living with another contractor has to do with going on this work related trip. Also, if it was an "incentive" trip, did everyone else have to take PTO?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


I am unclear what is has to do with it as well that was just reason I was given as to why I would not be allowed to attend, because we were both going it would look like favoritism, but did not look that way when we were all working on the project. I only took PTO because I was told I could not go on the trip, everyone else was a normal working day

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Sherrie, I just composed and sent you a very long involved response and it completely disappeared. So, I will have to try to reconstruct my response. It will take a while, please be patient.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No problem I have days like that too


 

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Alright, well, first let me say I can't really guess exactly what was going on here, since I don't have all of the facts, including those from the employer's perspective. So, although I can discuss the law in Florida as it relates to PTO and disciplinary action, I can't ultimately tell you if the employer have violated their own rules or engaged in unlawful discrimination.

What I can tell you is that there is no Florida or Federal law that requires that an employer offer any paid time off at all to their employees. However, if they do, they are allowed to set the rules for the use of that time. They must simply apply their rules evenly to all employees who qualify for PTO. Also, although, with few exceptions, an employer may not necessarily tell an employee what they can and can't do on their own time, they can actually discipline them for off-duty behavior. In addition, an employer may set the rules for participating in a company event, whether on or off duty. So, as long as an employer is not discriminating in their employment actions and benefits because of someone's gender, race, national origin, age (over 40), religion, disability, pregnancy, or AIDS/hiv status, then the employer is not violating the law if they discipline them or otherwise take an employment action, even if the action is arbitrary and misguided.

The employment laws in Florida, as in most states, strongly favor the employer. So, unless you have evidence that your employer violated a contract, company policy or an employment discrimination law in directing you not to go to this function and then taking an adverse employment action against you for doing so, even on your PTO time, then you will not have any legal recourse.

That said, you might try speaking to your HR Department, or to your boss's boss and see if they will reconsider the suspension and pay you for the suspended day.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17279
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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