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What are your considerations when deciding whether to implement a paid time off (PTO) policy? Do you know all of the pros and cons? PTO policies typically combine vacation days and sick days together into one bank of available days. In a CER webinar titled "Paid Time Off: How to Draft and Administer an Effective PTO Policy that Complies with Both California and Federal Law," Marc L. Jacuzzi outlined some of the items to consider before implementing a PTO policy.
When you implement a PTO policy, all the time off becomes the equivalent of vacation time because there is no contingency on its use (i.e. using it is not contingent upon being sick) and it cannot be forfeited. You cannot set any part of it up on a "use it or lose it" basis. This means that it might be more expensive for you in the long run if all time is actually used. So, why would you want to do that?
One of the primary reasons is that you might have better control over scheduling because employees save time for vacation purposes and use in longer blocks of time. Implementing a PTO policy is often well-received by employees as well, since it feels like an increase in vacation entitlements, even if the total days off remain the same.
If you decide to implement a PTO policy, there are several drafting considerations:
Here is an example of a cap: "PTO accrual is capped at 150 percent of the annual PTO accrual rate. If the employee’s earned but unused PTO reaches the maximum, the employee will not accrue any additional PTO until the employee uses PTO such that the accrued balance falls below the cap. At that time, the employee will resume accruing PTO. For example, if the employee earns PTO at the rate of 10 days per year, his/her accrual is capped if s/he reaches an accrual balance of 15 days."
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Marc L. Jacuzzi, Esq., is a shareholder in the law firm of Simpson, Garrity, Innes & Jacuzzi (www.sgilaw.com). He advises clients regarding all aspects of the employer/employee relationship including hiring and termination, wage and hour requirements, employee classification, civil rights and discrimination issues, employee investigations, commission plans, employment contracts, employee handbooks and policies, confidential information agreements, reductions in force, leaves of absence, employment audits, M&A employment issues, violence in the workplace, and international employment issues.