Employee Paid Time Off Donation Program

Let’s discuss a situation that’s somewhat common among employers.  You have an employee, Sharon, who has used all of her allowed paid time off (vacation, personal, sick, etc.) for the year. Sharon’s mother falls ill with a serious medical condition and Sharon needs to take additional time off work to help care for her mother, but she doesn’t have any paid time off available. Sharon’s coworker, Kim, has a lot of accrued paid time off with no vacation plans so she asks you if she can donate some of her available paid time off balance to Sharon to be able to use during her absence so that Sharon doesn’t have to take unpaid time off work to care for her mother. Can you allow Kim to donate her paid time off to Sharon?

You can. But it’s not that simple.

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Vacation Pay: Optional or Mandatory?

1428638_61478545An employee leaves without giving any advance notice.  Are you required to compensate that employee for unused vacation and personal time?

You are not required under any federal or state laws to offer vacation or personal time off benefits, with or without pay. (Note: Some cities and states do require paid sick leave). But if you offer vacation time with pay, sick leave with pay and/or paid time off (PTO), you need to be aware of possible regulations in your state regarding compensation.

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Paid Time Off Sharing: Make Policy Fair

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Question: Several times in the past we’ve allowed employee “A” to donate unused sick leave to employee “B” who needs help. Now again an employee has requested permission to donate sick time.  We don’t have a written policy on this.  We don’t have a problem allowing this but think it’s time we make some decisions and put our policy in writing.  Can you give us some guidance?

Specifically, should an employee in need have exhausted all of his or her time before receiving time from someone else?  Should we put a limit on the number of days that can be given to an employee? If a high paid employee donates to a lower paid employee, how is the donated time valued?

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Does Your Sick Leave Policy Need a Checkup?

doctor-563428_1280You’ve probably seen the employee with a pile of tissues on the desk, sweating profusely and responding, “I’m fine” when people ask about his or her health.  Then there’s the person who routinely arrives late or leaves early and frequently takes unscheduled days off.

Although federal law does not require payment for time not worked — such as sick days, vacations and holidays — most employers recognize the importance of paid leave programs for employee health and performance.  Effective leave policies also help companies retain top people.  But are your leave policies effective?

Unscheduled employee absenteeism costs some organizations a bundle every year.  Employers generally tolerate the occasional “sick day” that employees take for non-health-related reasons.  Yet they may suffer from sick leave abuse, where employees repeatedly violate the company’s attendance policy — and that translates into lost dollars.

Other employers suffer from the opposite problem.

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Paid Vacation: Is it Optional or Required?

1064586_50115630An employer asks:  “One of my employees left without giving any advance notice.  Do I have to compensate the employee for unused vacation and personal time?”

You are not required under any federal or state laws to offer vacation or personal time off benefits, with or without pay.  But if you offer vacation time with pay, sick leave with pay, and/or paid time off (PTO), you need to be aware of possible regulations in your state regarding compensation.

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