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Employee out of PTO and called in sick

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7 posts
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Michael Bielski
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We have a salaried employee that has used all their PTO, and today called in sick today. We are small and have never had this happen before so not positive how to address. Most employees have a day or two that they roll over each year or use them up evenly at the end of the year.

Firing is not an option for this employee, even if it happens again this year. We are looking at loaning from 2018, but that is a bad precedent to start. Can you dock the pay even though a pain paperwork wise? Can we loan from 2018? Looking for real options.

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lauriekay
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Hi Michael:

Typically you can dock pay for a salaried/exempt employee if they overuse sick/vacation time provided the policy clearly spells out the number of days earned or offered. This may be a better option then borrowing from next year which could create a tracking issue if more than one employee overuses days. Docking pay is done at the time of the offense and sends a clear signal to the employee that that need to manage their days off appropriately.

I understand that unexpected things and illnesses happen but if you let it go for one employee you would be expected to do the same for all employees.

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Vince
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Hi Michael. What you have is an HR issue. As small as your company is, it is important to have a formal chat with him regarding this matter and determine what the real issues are.

Is he simply not a healthy person?

Are there some personal matters that have started creeping into his work life?

What can the agency do to help him so that he doesn't make this habitual?

Sincerely,


Vince

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Michael Bielski
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Thanks all. It really was poor planning on his part. He had a baby (his wife) and used up most of his time to be home. Then he was sick with no time left, and with 2 months left in the year could see it happening again. Most employees leave time for sick (we have a sum of PTO days employees use - not specific to personal, sick, vac..) and then roll them over at the end of the year so it hasn't been an issue before.

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JeffKlingberg
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1. My sister recently went through this same situation. For her employer, they didn't have any PTO days. If you were sick, you're supposed to use vacation time. If your vacation time has been used up then they deducted days missing from her salary.

2. Moving forward this situation has to be written into your employee handbook so that if this situation ever arises again everyone will know what to expect.

3. Here's a question for you. You rollover unused PTO. How many days can the employee accumulate before losing them? What happens with accumulated PTO and vacation days if the employee leaves? Have you spelled these things out in your employee handbook?

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robin435
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HI

I would seek counsel regarding docking pay if the employee is salary exempt and works part of the week.  I have been told you cannot dock PTO if the employee worked partially the week and is on salary.

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john3543
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Michael, I am sorry for the late response; I haven’t checked the forum in a bit. Our PTO policy has people earn their PTO pro-rata as they go through the year. This can cause situations in which their earned balance is less than the time they want to take off. We allow employees to “borrow” up to five days. Anything more than this must be taken on an unpaid basis. Any “borrowed” days unpaid when they leave are deducted from their final paycheck. “Borrowing” and any recoupment doesn’t happen frequently but it does come in handy in situations like yours. Hope this helps. John

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