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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My employer changed the 'capped' # of PTO hours an employee

Customer Question

My employer changed the 'capped' # ***** PTO hours an employee can accrue for 150% to 100%. This was announced in mid July and effective on 01 Aug 2015. At that point I had accrued 334 hours of PTO. On 01 Aug my PTO was divided into PTO balance and PTO band. My employer put the max # ***** as my PTO balance and I have not accrued any additional time... because my balance was > 100%. [my cap is 256 hours]. I could accrue approximately 3 days / month.
when I now take PTO, my employer is taking my hours out of my Bank, not my PTO balance. I have worked for this company for 16 years.
As a CA resident, I am now not accruing any PTO, and any time I take PTO they take it out of the overage bank. Is this legal? Not only am I not accruing time, because of a policy put into effect on 01 Aug, but they are taking away all the PTO I have earned over 16 years away. So if do not deplete my bank and decrease my capped PTO, I will never accrue PTO.
Is this legal in CA?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Yes, unfortunately this is legal in CA. It is legal because employers are not required to provide any PTO at all and so have complete discretion to set the rules regarding accrual and use. The only thing an employer cannot do is take away earned PTO without allowing the employee to either use that time or paying them for its cash value. Thus, while the policy change you describe is certainly having an unfair effect on you, it does not violate any law, and your only recourse is to attempt to persuade your employer that it should be changed.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.