With new COVID laws & increased scrutiny, now's the time to rewrite your PTO policy.

With an increased focus on employee leave in the public eye and new pandemic-related laws, companies with outdated paid time off policies could find themselves in messy legal situations. That makes now a good time to review and rewrite your PTO policies. Issues to consider:

Review local laws. Federal law doesn't force employers to provide paid time off--whether sick leave, vacation or personal time. And, despite pressure. Congress has yet to mandate any such leave (see pajje 5). That has led to a massive expansion of various paid leave mandated at the state and local levels--a trend accelerated by the pandemic. The result: a patchwork of laws that make compliance difficult.

Advice: Federal legislation has its best chance in decades, but make sure you know exactly how much PTO your state and city laws require. Be sure your PTO policy covers at least that minimum.

PTO, FMLA & workers' comp. While FMLA is unpaid, the law included an option for employers to offset paid leave against FMLA. Employees may choose to use PTO in order to be paid during FMLA leave.

In addition, employers may require that workers take their PTO while on FMLA. Your PTO policy should specify if this is the case and clearly state that PTO runs concurrently with unpaid FMLA. Otherwise, your employees could take any accumulated PTO first and still be entitled to another 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Advice: When rewriting your PTO rules, make sure you choose to run PTO concurrent with unpaid FMLA leave. The same goes for workers' compensation leave. Your PTO policy should clarify whether you will be "topping off" workers' comp pay with PTO. Spell out exactly what formula will be used and how this impacts remaining PTO balances. Check state and local laws, too.

PTO and the ADA. Many ADA disabilities overlap with FMLA-qualifying serious health conditions. Thus, your PTO policy has to take into account the FMLA...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT