Vacation and sick leave or paid time off? And what is the difference between them? Being a business owner, especially with additional employees, choosing the best time-off compensation can be confusing. If you’re sure how to set up the best time-off policies for your company, call our law firm or fill out a form for a free consultation. Our expert staff at the Law Offices of Yuriy Moshes can assist you with the best work vacation options for your company, while still following relevant local, state and federal laws and regulations.
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PTO either stands for paid time off or personal time off, depending on how your company chooses to define it. PTO is a compensation provided by companies in which employees get a certain number of days off per year. Many employers view it as an alternative to clearly defined leaves for vacation, sick leave or personal time, as workers can use this for a variety of personal reasons. Policies on how PTO is accrued vary from employer to employer. The most common method is accruing a certain number of PTO hours in a pay period, and the amount accrued per pay period increases the longer an employee works for a company.
Is PTO the same as vacation? Vacation and sick leave are similar to PTO but have more clearly defined uses. Vacation is defined generally intended as time off away from the workplace and duties associated with their jobs. And while no laws require paid vacation time, up to 90% of employers nationwide offer some sort of work vacation as part of any compensation package.
Sick leave is generally defined as time allowed away from work to recover from an injury or illness or take care of a relative/loved one who may be recovering. Jurisdictions in sixteen states (including New York City) mandate some sort of sick leave. No federal laws guarantee paid sick leave time. However, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for up to twelve weeks unpaid leave for care of one’s self or a relative in a 12-month period.
More companies are utilizing PTO in place of more traditional time-off compensation. This allows workers more flexibility in how they use their leave. Many employers utilize an “PTO hour per pay period” accrual system. A worker gets so many PTO hours per pay period up to a maximum per year at the beginning of their employment (often 40 hours to 80 hours/one to two weeks), and it generally increases the longer an employee works at the company (120 hours or three weeks after a couple of years). More employers are also utilizing unlimited PTO where workers can take off as many days as they want, as long as it doesn’t adversely impact company operations.
Still wondering what would be the best practice for your company? Call our offices at Moshes Law to talk with one of our qualified attorneys who are experts in local, state and federal labor and leave laws and how they may apply to your business.
There are advantages to paid time off over straight vacation/sick leave policies offer:
There can also be an advantage to the employer, in the form of potential tax breaks for offering paid family and medical leave.
If you’re a business considering various leave options available to you, our law team can explain the employment laws to you governing vacation/sick leave/PTO.
Contact our law office to set up an appointment to talk about your business needs and legal requirements in New York and New Jersey.