Can an employer deny use of earned PTO?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer deny use of earned PTO?

An employee requested to use bereavement days but could not provide documentation

to validate its use. The employee then asked to use some of his earned PTO days

in place of the bereavement but the employer has denied the request. We

understand vacation PTO is not an automatic benefit but is the denial of earned

PTO allowed?

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

PTO is a disceretionary benefit. This means that an employer does not have to offer it, however to the extent it does the employer typically has a great deal of say as to just when or even if it can be used (this includes for either vacation or bereavement purposes). The fact is that in at-will employment a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Therefore, unless there exits an employment contract or union agreement or company policy that provides otherwise, your employer's action is legal. Additionally, your treatment must not be due to any form of actionable discrimination.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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