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(Slate)   "My company is closed the week of Christmas and New Year's and to cover the time, they expect us to use our PTO. Is that legal?"   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Holiday, Employment, work-related anxieties, three-person team of contractors, next year, got raises, week's Direct Report, vacation time  
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727 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 29 Nov 2021 at 9:35 AM (29 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



45 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-11-29 6:35:29 AM  
The auto plants do it every year.
 
2021-11-29 6:58:26 AM  
You're not going to be working that week regardless, its whether you want to be paid for it that's your question.
 
2021-11-29 7:03:42 AM  
Yes it's legal. I used to work for a company that shut down the entire month of December and restarted business the first Monday in January.

It was awesome and it sucked all at the same time.
 
2021-11-29 7:32:48 AM  
Yes, America hates workers. Pinkertons out front shoulda told ya.
 
2021-11-29 8:55:16 AM  
Being Canadian, that's just mind boggling. Time to eat the rich, America.
 
2021-11-29 9:13:42 AM  
Americans take a weird pride in being abused by their employers, I have never understood why.
 
2021-11-29 9:24:37 AM  
Show up anyway. Bring a chair.
 
2021-11-29 9:27:35 AM  

Lambskincoat: Americans take a weird pride in being abused by their employers, I have never understood why.


Because we have this absurd 'hope' that one day we'll grow up and be job creators our own selves and be able to push other people around just like Dad.
 
2021-11-29 10:02:10 AM  
They may expect you to use PTO to cover the time, but you certainly have the right to apply for Unemployment benefits instead.
 
2021-11-29 10:07:07 AM  
My wife's company is like this however, when they gave her her offer letter the her know, "you get "x" amount of PTO days, but you need to set aside the amount of days for the mandatory shut down, so really you have "Y" PTO days to use the other 360 days a year"
unless it is a brand new policy by the company i'd have to imagine the writer was aware of this when they accepted the job.
 
2021-11-29 10:11:38 AM  
I used to work at a State university and we would get the last two weeks of the year off, with regular pay, not PTO pay.  It was wonderful!  Even better, they decided to known down their accrued overtime liability.  They sent me home for a month, with pay.  Got a lot done around the house that month.
 
2021-11-29 10:13:32 AM  
Oracle used to do that. We didn't even learn that they took our PTO to cover xmas break until weeks later.
 
2021-11-29 10:16:51 AM  

Lambskincoat: Americans take a weird pride in being abused by their employers, I have never understood why.


Because they hold the healthcare card
 
2021-11-29 10:19:09 AM  
You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.
 
2021-11-29 10:26:45 AM  

Clash City Farker: You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.


And everyone still averages 2 weeks because America, right?
 
2021-11-29 10:28:23 AM  

Clash City Farker: You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.


Oh there's definitely a limit.  Don't think so?  Ask for the entire next year off.
 
2021-11-29 10:48:28 AM  

bighairyguy: I used to work at a State university and we would get the last two weeks of the year off, with regular pay, not PTO pay.  It was wonderful!  Even better, they decided to known down their accrued overtime liability.  They sent me home for a month, with pay.  Got a lot done around the house that month.


Have you gone to the state web site and checked out your pension plan money.
It could be surprising.
 
2021-11-29 10:51:46 AM  
Between PTO and paid holidays, I get 36 days off per year.  The company also gives a full week of bereavement pay in the event of a family member dying (and has a fairly broad definition of family members in that policy), a full week of "Critical Caregiver Leave" in the event that a family member is sick and the employee needs to be off work to care for them - I've used that a couple times when my wife was hospitalized.

The company also gives 16 weeks of full pay for parental leave (father or mother).  If both parents work for the company, one can take the 16 weeks and the other can take 4 weeks at full pay.
 
2021-11-29 10:55:25 AM  
Just about everyone around here saves up and takes off most of December with "use it or lose it" time.

I dont understand how they manage to get to the point of needing to take use it or lose it because Im never even close to hitting the saved limit of vacation hours.
 
2021-11-29 11:01:28 AM  

wage0048: (and has a fairly broad definition of family members in that policy)


Back in 'the day' our University started offering 'same sex' benefits as 'family members'. After major corporations like Disney did...before marriage rights...there were lots of hoops to jump through.
We had to produce a certified embossed letter of "Power of Attorney" for each of us.
Proof of joint bank accounts
Proof of joint property ownership
Polaroid's Or VHS tapes of sexual acts
Receipts of Property Taxes...

Well, you really needed to PROVE it to them rather than "Hey....I got a license from the courthouse in Vegas this weekend"
 
2021-11-29 11:36:48 AM  

Kat09tails: Yes it's legal.


I seriously never would have guessed that. That truly is a shiatty thing to do to your team, IMO.
 
2021-11-29 11:46:49 AM  

debug: Clash City Farker: You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.

Oh there's definitely a limit.  Don't think so?  Ask for the entire next year off.


My company also offers unlimited PTO.

Which from a practical standpoint means "If you want more then 5 weeks off in a year, you have to clear it with upper management, and if you make a good case (ie once in a lifetime trip or something), they will probably approve it"

5 weeks or less, though?  Nobody bats an eye.

Having worked at companies with more spelled out policies you don't get 5 weeks off in a year until you've been there for 30 years full-time, uninterrupted.

/And even then, 1 of those weeks is unpaid.
//YMMV
 
2021-11-29 12:05:20 PM  

optikeye: wage0048: (and has a fairly broad definition of family members in that policy)

Back in 'the day' our University started offering 'same sex' benefits as 'family members'. After major corporations like Disney did...before marriage rights...there were lots of hoops to jump through.
We had to produce a certified embossed letter of "Power of Attorney" for each of us.
Proof of joint bank accounts
Proof of joint property ownership
Polaroid's Or VHS tapes of sexual acts
Receipts of Property Taxes...

Well, you really needed to PROVE it to them rather than "Hey....I got a license from the courthouse in Vegas this weekend"


Why my wife's grandmother died, I let my boss know about it and asked if I could use a few days of PTO on short notice to travel with the family for the funeral.  My boss said "You can have the time off, but not on PTO - you can take a week of Bereavement leave."  Apparently, grandparent-in-law is included in the policy.
 
2021-11-29 12:06:48 PM  
At my previous company, we had a choice of taking the shutdown week as paid or unpaid time off. I usually chose unpaid for that week and padded it with a few paid days before/after to get a longer block of time away from the office.
 
2021-11-29 12:14:26 PM  

akya: debug: Clash City Farker: You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.

Oh there's definitely a limit.  Don't think so?  Ask for the entire next year off.

My company also offers unlimited PTO.

Which from a practical standpoint means "If you want more then 5 weeks off in a year, you have to clear it with upper management, and if you make a good case (ie once in a lifetime trip or something), they will probably approve it"

5 weeks or less, though?  Nobody bats an eye.

Having worked at companies with more spelled out policies you don't get 5 weeks off in a year until you've been there for 30 years full-time, uninterrupted.

/And even then, 1 of those weeks is unpaid.
//YMMV


5 huh?

Good to know. I'll shoot for 5 next year. This is our first year of unlimited. It was more or less not announced.
 
2021-11-29 1:07:57 PM  

johnryan51: The auto plants do it every year.


Actually, I don't think they do.  I believe they technically lay them off during retooling between model years and the like.  They don't get paid, but this move does allow them to claim unemployment benefits for the time off.
 
2021-11-29 1:16:40 PM  

phenn: Kat09tails: Yes it's legal.

I seriously never would have guessed that. That truly is a shiatty thing to do to your team, IMO.


Gets even worse, there are states where they can force you to use PTO on days where the business closes for bad weather like snowstorms. Even if an employee drags themselves through the snow, they can be forced to use PTO.
 
2021-11-29 1:57:31 PM  

akya: Having worked at companies with more spelled out policies you don't get 5 weeks off in a year until you've been there for 30 years full-time, uninterrupted.


Crappy companies.

I worked at one Fortune 50 company that got to 5 weeks (bankable vacation, not PTO) after eight years of employment. My current employer starts at 4 weeks of PTO and the year you begin your 5th year of service bumps you up to 5 weeks. After 15 years you get seven weeks (still use-it-or-lose-it PTO). That seems fairly standard for corporations now, but probably not for small businesses.
 
2021-11-29 2:08:38 PM  

Hooker with a Penis: Just about everyone around here saves up and takes off most of December with "use it or lose it" time.

I dont understand how they manage to get to the point of needing to take use it or lose it because Im never even close to hitting the saved limit of vacation hours.


I'm sitting at that limit now. Every time I think about taking time off somebody calls me with his hair on fire and needs just a couple of specific days of my time so I just never get around to it.

I need to get better at taking vacation though. One of the big reasons I didn't leave this summer when I got a better job offer is I had about seven weeks of pay I expected to lose if I left.
 
2021-11-29 2:26:06 PM  
My boss in college maxed out his Sick & Vacation banks for a while.  The way it worked there was that you accrued x hours of sick pay and x hours of vacation pay per pay period (x was determined by your years of service).

When you got to 3/4 the max balance of sick pay, you started to only accrue .5x hours of sick pay, but your vacation pay accrual increased to 1.5x (so you still got the full 2x time off per pay period).  When your sick pay maxed out, you stopped accruing sick time but accrued 2x vacation time.

For him, x was 4 hours/pay-period, so once he maxed out both his sick and vacation time, he had to take a day off every two weeks or he'd just lose that time.  He took every other Friday off for about 6 months until his son was born (at that time he used up a bunch of his accrued time to take two months off with the baby).
 
2021-11-29 2:30:21 PM  

wage0048: My boss in college maxed out his Sick & Vacation banks for a while.  The way it worked there was that you accrued x hours of sick pay and x hours of vacation pay per pay period (x was determined by your years of service).

When you got to 3/4 the max balance of sick pay, you started to only accrue .5x hours of sick pay, but your vacation pay accrual increased to 1.5x (so you still got the full 2x time off per pay period).  When your sick pay maxed out, you stopped accruing sick time but accrued 2x vacation time.

For him, x was 4 hours/pay-period, so once he maxed out both his sick and vacation time, he had to take a day off every two weeks or he'd just lose that time.  He took every other Friday off for about 6 months until his son was born (at that time he used up a bunch of his accrued time to take two months off with the baby).


It's great he was able to do that, but sad he didn't have paid paternity leave.
 
2021-11-29 2:44:47 PM  

Myk-House of El: wage0048: My boss in college maxed out his Sick & Vacation banks for a while.  The way it worked there was that you accrued x hours of sick pay and x hours of vacation pay per pay period (x was determined by your years of service).

When you got to 3/4 the max balance of sick pay, you started to only accrue .5x hours of sick pay, but your vacation pay accrual increased to 1.5x (so you still got the full 2x time off per pay period).  When your sick pay maxed out, you stopped accruing sick time but accrued 2x vacation time.

For him, x was 4 hours/pay-period, so once he maxed out both his sick and vacation time, he had to take a day off every two weeks or he'd just lose that time.  He took every other Friday off for about 6 months until his son was born (at that time he used up a bunch of his accrued time to take two months off with the baby).

It's great he was able to do that, but sad he didn't have paid paternity leave.


Well, it was 18 years ago... but I agree.  I could have taken 16 weeks at full pay when my daughter was born.  I chose to take only 4 because my mental health was suffering with the lack of a daily routine...
 
2021-11-29 3:08:18 PM  

NewportBarGuy: Yes, America hates workers. Pinkertons out front shoulda told ya.


it goes hand in hand with eating food and paying bills.
 
Ant
2021-11-29 4:37:16 PM  
Legal? Yes. shiatty? Also yes.

This is the USA. Your job can pretty much do whatever the fark they want.
 
Ant
2021-11-29 4:38:23 PM  

Lambskincoat: Americans take a weird pride in being abused by their employers, I have never understood why.


We're crabs in a bucket
 
Ant
2021-11-29 4:43:12 PM  

Clash City Farker: You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.


I'm left wondering whether people might be guilted into taking less time off if there was no limit, and they didn't have a set number of days off that they were entitled to use.
 
2021-11-29 5:08:04 PM  

Ant: I'm left wondering whether people might be guilted into taking less time off if there was no limit, and they didn't have a set number of days off that they were entitled to use.


They do take less time off when offered 'take as much time off as you need'. The last article I read about it showed that it was much less time off. People with PTO can just take their time and that's that. No argument - just using PTO. When you have no 'limit' every time you take time off it is questioned. Do you really need to take time? Oh, you are going to the doctor - well why not do some work before and after? The perception is that you have unlimited time off for valid 'reasons' while people use PTO without a reason.
 
2021-11-29 5:12:45 PM  
Is this your boss?
images.fineartamerica.comView Full Size


I've heard staging an elaborate morality play involving ghosts can do wonders.
 
2021-11-29 5:14:17 PM  

Ant: Clash City Farker: You you still have to count your PTO?

My company offers unlimited PTO. I can take as much time off as I want because there is NO LIMIT.

I'm left wondering whether people might be guilted into taking less time off if there was no limit, and they didn't have a set number of days off that they were entitled to use.


Some data here.

Also, when you leave you don't get your PTO paid out (because generally vacation and PTO hours are earned and almost every state requires they be paid upon departure). No accrued hours, no PTO pay-out when employees leave or are termed.
 
2021-11-29 5:45:56 PM  
We just recently got the ability to go negative on PTO for up to 40 hours. The boss hates people taking a day off without pay that much.So, now that I've used up my PTO taking my wife to doctor appointments I can either take PTO on credit or make up the hours. So I work late to make my 40. It isn't exactly helping.

His reasoning is that he's still paying for benefits, the building, etc. My reasoning is about to become, "Well you want me to keep working for you, don't you?"

We get three weeks. That's all we'll ever get. There's no "Three weeks until 5 years, then it's 4 weeks" or anything. You folks with more than three weeks are lucky.
 
2021-11-29 9:42:58 PM  
We give our employees from Dec. 24 to January 2nd off, with regular (not PTO) pay.

A former employee moved to a company with "unlimited pto" about 2 years ago. I don't think she's taken more than 10 days off, in total. She doesn't like it and says nobody does. Oh well.

/Canadian
 
2021-11-30 1:18:24 AM  

gopher321: Being Canadian, that's just mind boggling. Time to eat the rich, America.


Companies in Canada do it all the time.
 
2021-11-30 10:35:45 AM  
FIL retired with over a year of PTO. Where he worked, you could gift PTO (he'd give a week and the biggest box of diapers Sam's sold for any of his employees who had a kid, or give a week to cover the gap in short term disability, etc.), accrue indefinitely and earn more each year. He worked there for 33 years. His union retirement planner ended up starting with him taking a year and a half off work using his PTO, only then retiring.
/csb
 
2021-11-30 12:57:17 PM  
I run a small business. I end up taking as many days or half days off as I want, but I'm rarely able to get an entire week off. More than that would be impossible.
 
2021-11-30 3:29:44 PM  

phenn: Kat09tails: Yes it's legal.

I seriously never would have guessed that. That truly is a shiatty thing to do to your team, IMO.


Yes, it truly is. I work for lawyers so it shouldn't surprise me or anyone else.
 
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