Human Resources/PTO

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Question
A co-worker of mine was recently promoted to a new position so my department is short a person and because of this my boss asked that I do not use any of my PTO time until they hire a new person. This process could take a month or more and that does not include the time it will take for me to have to train a new employee. I feel this is completely unfair for a few reasons; my job does not allow you to take personal time off during the entire month of Dec (this is a busy month for us) and this is actually in our employee handbook.  This is fine, I accept this however the days off that I requested were in Jan., well in advance (a month in fact) and before my co-worker was even promoted. It is also time I earned and I'm not one to call out last minute. My question is this, is it fair for an employer to ask an employee not to use their personal time that they earn when given advance notice? My job is a high paced, very stressful job that you need a mental health day. I feel like they are taking advantage of me. Is this common for an employer to ask this. Let me know your thoughts. Thank you!

Answer
It is not fair to you to not be able to use your PTO. With that said it is legal. Since PTO is not required to be given and is given by the employer the employer has the right to say when it may or may not be used. It might not be fair to you, but it is not illegal for them to do so.

Shirley

Human Resources

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Publications
I.O.M.A. BNA

Education/Credentials
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 Ask.com 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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