Human Resources/PTO


QUESTION: Can an employer that is short staffed use PTO as leverage to make the employee work on their off days for overtime? I believe it is discriminatory.  Am I right? I  know someone that has an employer who has said he wont allow them to use their PTO unless they help out the company on their days off. By coming into work because another employee has called off sick.

ANSWER: I do not think that PTO should be held hostage in this manner, however, PTO is not mandated and is given by the company not earned. Because it is a given by the ocmpany and not mandated by law the company does reserve the right to say when PTO may or may not be used.

You might also know that the department of labor says that the employer has the right to schedule the employee as many hours as he wishes as long as overtime is paid for all hours worked over 40 in a week. The employer sets the schedule and can terminate a worker for not following the work times set. The employee does not have the right to say when he wishes to work.


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QUESTION: In the PTO policy there is no statement or rules saying anything regarding working overtime to achieve approved PTO.

You are correct that you should recieve the PTO whether or not you work overtime. What I am saying is that although you are correct there are no laws to back you up because the PTO is a gift from the company and they have control over it. It is not a wage and is not regulated by the wage laws.

Although you are right there are no statutes to help you win a case against the company.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions pertaining to Compensation, Health Benefits, Retirement Plans, Payroll,Payroll taxes, Employee selection, Employee Termination, Training, and Employee Incentives. I have offices in U.S., Canada, UK, South Africa,Australia and NZ. I am most confident in the U.S. and Canadian but have knowledge of the internationals. I do not have extensive knowledge of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I do have some Human Resource Knowledge in those areas. Please do not ask me homework questions, I do not have time to answer them.


I currently hold both the U.S. and Canadian Payroll Certifications. I currently hold the SHRM PHR certification. I have worked in the Human Resources area with high emphasis on compensation and benefits for 25 years at the same company. My company is an international company and I work with our International offices whenever there is a Human Resource area needing addressed. I volunteer on the American Payroll Association hotline and have for the last 10 years or so. I answer many questions each week for other payroll and HR professionals, mostly on taxes, benefits and compensation issues. I have been the trustee for our 401K plan for Retirement benefits and our 125 Cafeteria Plan for Health Insurance benefits.

SHRM, National APA, National DOLEA, State National Mentoring Network I.O.M.A. Advisory Board


Boise State University Human Resource Certificate Program PHR through SHRM CPP through American Payroll Association Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification through Canadian Payroll Association Published writer of Payroll and Benefit articles in a payroll Publication 25 years experience in an International Company

Awards and Honors
Citation of Merit 8 years in a row for hotline service for A.P.A. Honor Award for child mentoring service through RSVP and National Mentoring A "Pat on the Back" award for outstanding leadership as a Youth Group Leader by "The Salvation Army." Runner up for Employee of the Year at my Company twice and Employee of the month 4 times.

Past/Present Clients
I used to answer questions on when they had a similar quesition and answer section. I volunteer for APA hotline I also belong to several HR forums when I often answer questions

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