July 3, 2014

Employee Vacation Time and Your Office Schedule

employee vacatiom time measured against work timeSummertime is here, and if your employees are anything like mine, they’re fantasizing about cool ocean breezes and PTO. And here at CEDR, we’re frequently asked whether it’s OK to restrict or regulate employee vacation time usage to better accommodate your office’s schedule.

Here’s an example: “The office manager at my practice has more than one week of vacation due, and we can’t do without her for that long! But I’ll be closing the whole office for two weeks in July. Can I dictate when she uses her PTO, and require that she take off when I do?”

And here’s our answer: Yes! You’re in luck!

Employers are not actually required to offer paid vacation* as a benefit, though almost all offices do offer some type of paid time off (PTO). Because of this fact, you can dictate the conditions surrounding how that time off may be taken. Many businesses do require employees to take paid time off, or at least some of their paid time off, only during scheduled office closures.

The key is to let employees know at least six months to a year in advance, so it’s less intrusive and easier for them to make travel plans that coincide. This is best done through your employee handbook.

Furthermore, once you offer the benefit of paid vacation and it is considered earned, it is often considered wages. Therefore there are often state-by-state rules that kick in regarding earned vacation time. However, to our knowledge, there are no rules that disallow your ability to restrict or designate a specific time period where some or all PTO must be used.

Questions or concerns? Contact CEDR Solutions at 866-414-6056 or email us at info@cedrsolutions.com. We’ll answer one HR question for free!

*While paid vacation is not a requirement, note that an increasing number of states and local areas have imposed paid sick time requirements on employers, and mandated the amount that you must offer. For information about the rules in your state, medical and dental employers should call CEDR to speak with an HR Advisor.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

Leave a Reply

Please note: CEDR Solutions specializes in providing expert HR support to owners and operators of independently owned medical and dental practices.