Is there a difference between “vacation pay” and “Paid Time Off” (sometimes called PTO)?
In recent years, many employers have found it easier and more efficient to lump together all paid days off, including vacation, sick days and holidays, into one “bucket.” Many of these employers then permit their employees to take this number of days off each year, for whatever reason or rationale they wish.
If you would like to set up a consultation, just [click here.] 30.Because so many employers are trying to cut back on pay and benefits wherever and whenever they can, it is more important than ever to know your rights and to be prepared to stand up for those rights in a smart and effective way. Most people think there are two reasons for this: First, because employees have come to expect paid vacation days off as a part of the employment relation.If an employer did not provide any paid vacation, many employees would not want to work there.The same is true for temporary employees, probationary employees and independent contractors. Can an employer legally give different amounts of paid vacation time to different employees, based on whether they are clerical, managerial or executive? It is like trading away your right to minimum wage, or a safe workplace: it just will not pass legal muster. I know of no law that precludes an employer from changing its vacation policies as often as it wishes. A few employers provide a full year’s vacation time availability to employees on January 1 of each year, but that is unusual. My employer’s vacation policy states that no vacation is earned or accrued during the first six months of employment. I once learned that lesson the hard way, and because I did not ask about that “rule,” I did not get a vacation for almost 1-1/2 years. Can an employer “cap” how much earned vacation time I can carry over from one year to the next if I do not use it up? There is nothing stopping employees at companies without such “advance” policies from respectfully requesting such an accommodation. Does vacation time accrue while an employee is out on a leave of absence, or on disability?That said, if it began to appear that the employer was changing the vacation policy often in order to confuse, defraud or deny employees their rights, that would not likely be tolerated by state labor officials. Yes, such “Use It or Lose It” vacation policies are increasingly common. My employer has combined its vacation and sick leave plans into one program called “paid time off” or “PTO,” for short. Generally, employees on paid leave, such as (a) on vacation, (b) taking sick days, or (c) PTO days, earn vacation time during those periods.