Paid Time Off vs. Vacation Plans

My employer has a plan that combines vacation and sick leave and calls it “paid time off” (PTO). I have a certain number of paid days each year under this program. Does this allow my employer to avoid the law when it comes to vacation?

No. PTO plans don’t allow your employer to avoid the law when it comes to vacation. The Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement considers “paid time off” subject to the same rules as vacation time. If your employer doesn’t follow the same laws as vacation plans do with their “PTO” plan, then you can file a vacation wage claim in California.
Joe’s employer grants his employees a certain number of “paid days off” each year and those days could be either sick days or vacation days. Joe’s employer’s “PTO” plan is still subject to the same laws that vacation plans are subject to. For instance, Joe must be paid for all of his “paid days off” at the end of the year even if he doesn’t use all of them, just as an employee might be paid at the end of the year for vacation days earned but not taken. If Joe’s employer does not follow the same laws that vacation plans are subject to, then Joe can file a vacation wage claim in California. Joe can also contact a vacation wage claim lawyer who can file a claim for him.
If you have a question about California vacation law or want to file a vacation wage claim, contact Strauss & Strauss APC now.

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