What to do if my employer uses PTO instead of sick and vacation time?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2013

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What to do if my employer uses PTO instead of sick and vacation time?

Recently they have announced that absences must be pre-planned in order to use our PTO so if we call in sick we do not get paid. Is this legal?

Asked on January 4, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, this is perfectly legal. The law does not require employers to give employees paid sick leave or time--indeed, employers are not required to ever provide any paid time off of any kind (or paid holidays, etc.) and employers could legally fire any employees who miss work due to illness (unless the employee was eligible for and used FMLA leave). Therefore, since it voluntary for employers to provide any PTO, they don't have to provide sick days, and they could terminate employees who miss work, it is legal for an employer to adopt the policy you describe.

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