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Paid Time Off And Related Questions

Do you want to know whether verbal policies on paid time off (PTO) is valid? Or, is it legal for accrued PTO to be forfeited in Texas? PTO programs can be advantageous to both the employee and employer. It is a benefit different from vacation time but the treatment is identical for legal purposes. However, if the PTO policy, laws or accrued PTO is not understood or administered correctly, it can lead to a great deal of discontent and dissatisfaction for both parties. To learn more about paid time off, seeking assistance from verified employment Experts can be the step in the right direction. 

Read below where Experts have answered a few questions about paid time off.

In Nebraska, is an employer liable to pay 1.5 times the PTO rate to a full time hourly paid employee?  

Case Details: The employer is reducing the force and currently one has 800 PTO hours accumulated over the last 4-5 years.

Under Nebraska law, one is entitled to get paid for unused paid time off or accumulated hours at the normal rate of pay. With respect to payment of time and a half or overtime, Nebraska state and federal law only requires this to be paid if a person works over 40 hours in one work week. This can be illustrated through an example: if one has taken 16 hours of PTO at the end of the week but has worked excess hours, the payment of a time and half is not applicable. Moreover, federal law does not require that earned PTO should be paid at all, unless there is a contract to state otherwise.

Can PTO of an exempt part-time employee be used to compensate for the difference in the hours clocked?

Case Details: The person needs to work 85 hours per month but job was being completed within 60 hours.

It is not possible for the employer to force one to use their paid time off for any difference of hours not worked. If the employee is an exempted part-timer, they need to be paid their regular salary irrespective of the hours worked. This is because a part-timer would not be entitled to overtime (if one works over 40 hours in a work week). The pay is pre-determined regardless of the hours worked. In case the employer is insisting that the paid time off should be used to make up for the hours, the employee cannot be considered as an exempt employee and becomes entitled to overtime payment for hours excess of 40 per week. It is possible that the employer could have misclassified the employee where he/she is actually a non-exempt employee rather than an exempt employee.

Are verbal policies on PTO irrelevant if the policy maker’s change?

Case Details: Past CEO promised pay out or carry forward of PTO if no leaves are taken in the first two years but new CEO abandons the policy.

Verbal policies are dicey or can be deemed irrelevant even if one can corroborate what was said. On the other hand, if there was a written policy regarding the accrued paid time off, the employer is legally bound to pay for this as part of the final pay, if one resigns or gets laid off.

In Texas, is it legal for an employer to allow accrued PTO to be forfeited?

Case Details: This is the case of employees who resign without notice, or are terminated.

In Texas, legally, employers are not required to offer any paid time off to their employees at all. Therefore, this would permit the employers to offer varied type of perks based on the terms they wish and it is not necessary that vacation time is used only for actual vacation. They are allowed to impose terms and conditions on the use of PTO and prevention of use, as they desire. This implies that employers can have a policy as stated above, where accrued PTO can be forfeited if an employee resigns without notice or is terminated for any particular reason.

Is it valid if the employer wants to alter the PTO that was originally offered in the initial joining agreement?

Usually, a change in PTO policy is neither major enough nor would it rise to a level where it would result in drastic changes to the employee. However, if this change is not acceptable, the alternative would be to seek other employment and quit once another job is secured.

As seen above, in many states employers are not liable to offer paid time off or even when they do, they hold the right to alter, offer or withdraw as they wish. Despite the employer having flexibility on how PTO policies are mandated, all situations are not alike making employees seek answers about PTO laws and programs applicable to their particular scenario. This is when employment Experts online can provide customized answers quickly and economically to your specific questions on paid time off policies.

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