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Question
My employer is offering me a third week of time off each year, but only if I use it to perform mission work. Can they dictate what I do with this time off?

Answer
Paid time off is at the convenience of the employer. There are no laws that say you must be given any time off. If the employer gives you time off he can say when it can be used.  If you do not want to use it for the purpose that he is stipulating than you can just decline.  Since there are no laws governing paid time off by the federal employment laws although it may not be right to say how you can use the time there is no law against it.

Some state laws have specific laws regarding paid time off, but most of them do not. The ones that do mostly say that the company has to follow it's policies and it's handbook on the rules for paid time off.  That again puts it in the employer's ballpark.

A few states have more stringent rules, such as California where once time is given it cannot be taken away. I do not recall any state having a statute on the books that says anything about how the time can or can not be used. The problem there being there is no way to enforce a law that does not exist.

Shirley

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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