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Overtime vs. PTO?

Discussion in 'Employee Benefits, Pensions' started by mdv483, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. mdv483

    mdv483 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm a biweekly employee. My employer has a new computer system that is using overtime from one week to cover PTO taken another week. For example, if I work 45 hours one week and take the other week off, I'm being paid for 40 hours regular worked time, 35 hours PTO, and 5 hours OT. We accrue PTO while taking PTO, but don't accrue it for OT. In this scenario, I would be shorted 5 hours worth of PTO accrual because they're using my OT to get to my 40 hours the next week. Our payroll department claims that's been our policy all along, but it's only started doing that since we started our new computer system this year. Is it legal to use OT from one week in place of PTO taken the next week?
     
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    No. But not because the law gives one whoop about your PTO time (it doesn't). What's illegal is not paying you time and a half in the pay period that you worked it. If you work 45 hours in one week and take the next week off, you should be paid for 40 hours straight time, 5 hours at time and a half for the first week. Since neither Federal nor Alabama law requires that you get paid at all for time you do not work, and neither requires that you be given paid vacation, the way you get paid for the second week would be up to the employer's policy. From what you've stated, that would likely be 40 hours of PTO. (But nothing at all would be legal)

    Your best bet, given the state you live in, would be to file a complaint for unpaid overtime with the US DOL.
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    Your best bet could be to do nothing.
    Be aware of the feathers you may ruffle with such a complaint.
    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with how you describe your pay... first week is 40 hours is 5 overtime, second week is 35 paid time off to total 80 hours. Your were paid for your overtime. How much PTO they want to give you is up to them.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Alabama doesn't have any specific overtime rules, so the federal (FSLA) rule applies

    As others have stated, PTO accrual/use is only required to be consistent with their policy. What is required, if you are a non-exempt employee, is that you be paid for each hour actually worked and paid overtime for each hour worked in excess 40 in each work week. Biweekly pay means nothing here. Each work week stands alone even if you're only paid once a month.

    In your case, you're entitled to 40 hours of straight pay and five hours of time-and-a-half. That would be 47.5 times your hourly rate. If you're saying that they only paid you 42.5 x your hourly rate and used 5 hours of PTO to somehow "make up" the difference, that would indeed be illegal.
     

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