Can an employer cap accrued vacation PTO differently for different employees or must the cap be applied uniformly to all classes of employees?

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Can an employer cap accrued vacation PTO differently for different employees or must the cap be applied uniformly to all classes of employees?

As an example, Employee A who gets 3 weeks vacation per his employment agreement but no mention of any cap on PTO is offered unlimited accrual without a cap by the Employer. But Employee B and C who get 2 weeks vacation without a written employment agreement and Employee D who gets 2 weeks vacation with a written employment agreement but no mention of a cap on PTO are all told they must be subject to a 1.5 CAP on accrued vacation.

OR must the Employer ruling on a Company Cap of PTO be applied uniformly and consistently for all classes of employees. No employee handbook has been issued to date.

Asked on June 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Not all workers need be treated the same or even fiarly. This is true so long as the differing treatment is not base on their race, religion, disability, nationality, gender, or age (over 40). The fact is that absent some form of legally actiionable discrimination, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit absent a union agreement or eployment contract to the contrary. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, differently employees can have different accrual and caps or carryover for vacation, the same as they can have different ways of being paid (salary vs. wages vs. commissons), different total pay, different benefits, etc. There is no law mandating consistent or equal treatment for all employees.


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