Asked in Employment Law for Iowa

Q: Can my employer make me pay for PTO I used?

I work in Iowa and my employer gives us 120 hours of PTO at the start of the new calendar year. They then state that we "earn" 10 hours every month.

I have used about 80 of my 120 due to medical issues keeping me from work. My employer told me if I quit today that they would: 1: Keep my last check and 2: Invoice me for the rest of the PTO I used.

So, if I quit they'd hold my last check equaling 40 hours of used PTO then they'd send me an invoice for the other 40 I used. This just doesn't sound legal at all. Just a bad business practice of giving PTO up front without having to earn it on a monthly or weekly basis.

Please help me out.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Your employer is permitted to make deductions from your final check, but it is not permitted to make substantial enough deductions such that your final pay falls below your state's minimum wage. For example, if you worked 30 hours per week and earned $500 on your last check, and then your employer deducts (or separately invoices you) for $300 worth of unused PTO, this brings your average hourly rate below minimum wage ($6.66 per hour). This is a violation.

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