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Paid time off (PTO)

Paid time off (PTO)

While the definition of paid time off (PTO) varies, the term generally refers to paid leave benefits given to employees. PTO plans frequently cover compensation for vacation days, personal time off, sick leave, parental leave, and federal holidays. While many organizations still differentiate between sick days and vacation and personal days off (and some states legally require it), grouping sick and personal time together as PTO hours is increasingly common.

Several states have passed laws requiring some employers to offer a certain number of PTO hours per year, ranging from 24 to 40 hours annually. Some states also require employers to provide detailed explanations of state and local policies regarding vacation, sick, and personal days, including how much PTO employees accrue per number of days or hours worked. Considering the complexity of PTO regulations, many organizations opt for automated time-tracking software to assist in tracking PTO.

There may be some confusion involving paid time off and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA leave is intended to provide employees with time off for medical emergencies, lengthy illnesses, or major life events such as a birth or adoption. According to the US Department of Labor, PTO cannot be used as a replacement for or extension of FMLA leave. Essentially, if an employee’s reason for taking time off qualifies for FMLA, they cannot request or be offered PTO instead.

Ascentis’ powerful time and attendance software can help you with all of your employee attendance needs.

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