Q: I have 650 hours vacation accrued in CA over the last 7 years. My employer changed its policy in August of this year:
280-hour carryover cap was announced. “We offer up to 20 days of total PTO per year and 10 Federal Holidays. The PTO can be used for vacation days, sick days, personal days, you choose. These days roll over year-over-year with a cap of 35 days. “
So my question is what happens to my 650 hours when the new year begins? Also will I not be accruing any more vacation time for two more years+ (280 hours per year x 2.3 years = 650 roughly) and at that point will begin accruing vacation time again? I am still earning 6.15 hours per 80 hours worked according to my latest pay stubs. However, last pay period, I lost 46 hours of PTO, inexplicably. I have requested some clarification on that but I am wondering if they reversed my accrual out (6.15 x 7 pay periods) or something like that? I am concerned they are trying to take my PTO back slowly but surely. Can you provide some clarity here? Thank you.
A: A consideration could be to tell your employer you want to use up 10 weeks of your PTO as vacation before the first of the year, which would put you at a balance of 280, then use up the PTO as it accumulates. You really need to take all your materials to a local employment law attorney for a full review. Difficult to advise you without seeing all the documents and whether this new policy is retroactive to remove all PTO you have above 280. Really the first place to start is with the HR department and find out what they say about it, and get it in writing.
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A: What should happen is this: you will not accrue any more vacation time until your pool falls below the new cap of 280 hours. Your employer may not take away any of your accrued vacation pay, but it can cap your accrual at a per-designated amount.
As to losing accrued PTO, the only way an employer can reduce your existing pool of PTO is if you take the time or it is paid out to you. You will have to determine whether the reduction was the result of an error or not.
Good luck to you.
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