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Employer forcing use of vacation/sick leave during COVID-19 pandemic

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by Sage Wright, Mar 18, 2020.

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  1. Sage Wright

    Sage Wright Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Is it legal for my employer to force staff to use vacation/sick leave after cutting hours due to COVID-19 outbreak? I work in an optometrist office as an Administrative Assistant. My job primarily consists of ordering glasses and billing insurance companies. The doctor has made the decision to close the office to routine exams and other services and will only be addressing emergency situations. Seeing as we will not be seeing patients My work flow will come to a halt. I will still be working 1 or 2 days a week doing front office work. The doctor announced that we will be forced to use up our vacation/sick leave to get paid for days we are not in the office but this will exhaust all my PTO, leaving me with no option but to take un-paid days off for future appointments for the rest of the year. I would like to know what my options are going to get paid from here on out and if it is legal for my employer to force me to use my PTO for this reason.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this is legal. You can apply for unemployment.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You either use your PTO or you don't get paid. Even one of the least employer-friendly states in the country isn't going to require employers to pay employees for time not worked.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Your employer only has to pay you for hours actually worked. Allowing you to use sick time when not actually sick is generous. It is your choice whether to actually claim those hours. You could save therm and receive less pay.
    The alternative is to lay you off and pay nothing.
    Claiming unemployment can help recover some of the lost wages due to reduced hours. Unemployment offices are probably getting bombarded with claims right now.
     
  5. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    unless you fall under FFCRA that was signed into law last night by the President (either sick or have child care issues), yes, your employer can force you to use PTO. Otherwise, there are now after 4/2/20 going to be some situations where no your employer cannot force you, but so far from what you have written, you do not fall under those exceptions.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Maybe so, but PTO ≠ "sick time."
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the employer's policy, it may very well.
     
  8. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how posting to random posts is going to help you achieve that.
     
    Highwayman likes this.

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