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#1492927 - 01/11/11 02:23 PM When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this?
Drex Offline
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At the current bank I am at, I am a salaried employee, who puts in 45-50 hours per week of work. I am also the IT Manager, so staying on top of emails, calls, etc. even when out is important. The last 5 years I have been able to work from home when needed, I can do 95% of my job from home yesterday. Earlier this year I got a new boss. I live where all the snow is hitting the country, so I decided to work from home. When I have done this in the past I track the time I work and turn in PTO against the time I don't. I easily had enough to do for 8 hours, which I probably would of worked 6 and took 2 hours of PTO. I emailed my boss to let him know and he shot back an hour later saying if I stay home I have to turn in a full day of PTO whether I work or not. And said, when you’re not at the bank you have to take PTO, working or not.

So what my question is, can an employer do this? Basically, if you’re not in the office, you’re required to take PTO. And especially for someone in IT who receives 75 to 100 emails per day and is expected to stay on top of them and support users; which easily takes an hour of time a day. I guess I personally feel taken advantage of if I am working at home and not being compensated for it.

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#1492938 - 01/11/11 02:32 PM Can my employer require PTO when I am working?
Drex Offline
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Duplicate post removed

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#1492946 - 01/11/11 02:40 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? Drex
RR Joker Offline
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If others were expected to come in to work, then I would think just because you have the ability to log in and work from home, doesn't mean you should do so under most circumstances.

If there is an IT emergency and you can solve it from home...then that's great..but just to decide to stay home, to me, isn't the same thing.

As far as "can an employer do this?" I would think yes.
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#1492962 - 01/11/11 02:52 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Drex
Bob The Banker Offline
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Sounds like you have a flex schedule, I would talk this over face-to-face with your manager. He may not have a full understanding of your work and responsibilities, especially when flexing at home.

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#1492964 - 01/11/11 02:52 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? RR Joker
Drex Offline
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Thanks for the info and quick response. I guess I need to get with my boss and define my job role to state, when I am on PTO don't expect me to be working....

Its a bit of a struggle, just a hand full have remote access. But for most employees, when they are out, they are out; work isn't part of their life. Where this is different for me.

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#1492970 - 01/11/11 02:55 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Bob The Banker
Drex Offline
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He understands it, he just stated not everyone has remote access and it has to be the same across the board; which I am fine with.

What I am not fine with, which is why I am on here, is he expects me to work even when I take PTO - which it is not required by hardly any other employees when out; as they cannot remote in or check emails when outside the bank.

So basically I need to probably have it put in my job description that when outside the bank don't expect work to be accomplished?

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#1492971 - 01/11/11 02:56 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? Drex
Bob The Banker Offline
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Sounds like you had an approved flex schedule previously.

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#1492992 - 01/11/11 03:18 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? Bob The Banker
BrendaC Offline
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Does your written HR policy address working at home?
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#1492993 - 01/11/11 03:18 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? Bob The Banker
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Drex, keep in mind you are salaried, and most of us salaried folks don't have a set "schedule". Again, if there is an IT issue that you can fix from home, rather than from work...and you are at home at the time, then it would be more efficient for you to do it from home. How many hours you work isn't terribly relevant when you are salaried...however, it should reflect as time worked and your PTO shouldn't be dinged for it.
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#1493013 - 01/11/11 03:40 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? RR Joker
Drex Offline
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Our HR policy/employee handbook has nothing about working from home; or working where-ever just as long as your outside the office.

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#1493038 - 01/11/11 03:53 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Drex
renniks Offline
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Does your job description say that you are required to be on-call 27/7? Most IT jobs have that contingency. If so, then PTO or not, it is part of your job to respond to issues. If your job description does not require you to be on-call and you bring up that you want PTO/nights/weekends excluded as work time, you might be in for a surprise that will either be "find another job" or remain available for coverage as you have been, no matter whether you think you should be required to respond to issues during off-time or not.

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#1493054 - 01/11/11 04:04 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? renniks
Drex Offline
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My job description doesn't state anything about being on call. I am totally fine with being on call when high priority items come up; which have. But getting a phone call at 11PM because someone can't send an email doesn't fit this. And I'm not saying when I'm on call to be compensated.

But that if I am going to dedicate specific time for work, like yesterday I had 3 reports I need to write for the next board meeting (which I am now doing today) - and that I should get credit for it, not "you did it at home, doesn't count as "work", take PTO"

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#1493056 - 01/11/11 04:07 PM Re: Can my employer require PTO when I am working? Drex
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Then I would determine whether I wanted discuss with my current employer that there existed a prior agreement to provide you with an option to work from home. If he wishes to amend that on a go-forward basis, you certainly are happy to accommodate his request (since you don't really have any other option with a policy in place). Is one day PTO worth possibly creating an adversarial relationship with your new boss?
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#1493093 - 01/11/11 04:38 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Drex
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I think you need to have a discussion with your boss, possibly including HR, detailing that in the past you have been allowed to work from home and it has not presented an issue. However, it seems that the rules have changed and you were not made aware of the change ahead of time, so it is not fair to penalize you for managements lack of communication. You don't say if the new boss is new to the bank, so it is possible they are confused. There is no legal "all or none" when it comes to working from home. You should also check you HR Policy and see if it is permitted or forbidden.

Sounds like you have someone new to management...good luck
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#1493318 - 01/11/11 07:28 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? HappyGilmore
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How long have you been in the IT field? To some extent, being on call at all times goes with the territory and is completely unavoidable. It's the nature of the beast. Annoying at times, but yup it's part of your job description. It only takes a second to tell an employee, "sorry, email at 11pm does not constitute an emergency; we will address this during normal business hours tomorrow". An "emergency" is always in the eyes of the one experiencing the problem; it's your job to clearly define and educate your users (nicely if possible) on what is an "emergency" to you (i.e. virus issues, firewall alerts, can't process end-of-day, etc.) and what they SHOULD call you at home for versus what isn't an emergency in your eyes (i.e. can't send an email, don't like the colors on the screen, would like to set up an email signature in Outlook, printer's out of paper, mouse isn't clicky enough, etc.) and can wait until tomorrow. It helps to not whine and to always pack your sense of humor. smile Whine to your friends and have a beer on weeks when you get disturbed at home a lot; don't whine to your boss.

In terms of the PTO, it helps tremendously to have a good working relationship with your boss (not an adversarial one). When I put in a lot of time "off hours" one night or weekend I may leave the bank early the next business day, and this is understood to be a sort of unofficial "comp time" and is completely fine by my boss. There's never an issue of me working less than 40 hours; I usually work a whole lot more. I'm salaried, so I put that "comp time" in quotations: it's not an official type thing, but my boss is wonderful and very reasonable and he understands that my willingness to be flexible when he needs me (i.e. Sunday at 2am) and his willingness to be flexible when I'm exhausted (Monday at 3pm) and send me home equal a good thing for our bank and happy me and happy him. Good luck! Communication is key.
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#1493554 - 01/11/11 10:08 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? BurntSienna
Drex Offline
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I'm not worried about the relationship; we have worked together the last 5 years, he just took over because my boss quit.

I've been in IT 10 years and being on call is fine; my main issue is just taking a day to work from home and not getting credit for it. If I work 8 hours, but do it at home, its crazy to me to be required to take 8 hours of PTO.

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#1493587 - 01/11/11 11:04 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Drex
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Our bank policies prohibit "work from home" (except of course, when I and select other employees may work from home during nights, weekends, holidays, or very occasionally well-planned-ahead partial days. So, I have to admit that I can't really relate so much to your concern. I would consider the ability to work from home when the bank is open (ever!) to be a nice occasional privilege to be negotiated and communicated well in advance, not a right to be demanded suddenly, without warning, on a snowy day.

An unplanned, sudden "Ya know what, I think I'm going to work from home today!" on a day when the bank is likely to be short-staffed already from all the people calling in not coming in because of the snow (car won't start, kids' school is closed, etc.) might have just annoyed your boss, resulting in him/her telling you to use your PTO if you're choosing to stay home that day. Also, I'd have called and spoken directly to my boss and asked permission versus emailed and informed my boss what I was doing. Personally, if I received the reply email you did from the boss, I would have laced up my snow boots and gone immediately to the bank to reinforce the idea that I'm a team player. Just my humble opinion and an alternate viewpoint for your consideration.
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#1495929 - 01/14/11 09:26 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? BurntSienna
Lestie G Offline

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I guess I'm looking at this differently than others. I manage the IT folks (i.e. the director of IT reports to me). If it's a bad snow day, and he can't get to work, but he's willing to work from home and keep everything running - there's NO WAY I would ask him to take PTO. That would be just ridiculous!

I would appreciate the courtesy of a phone call asking my permission to work from home that day - which I would gladly give, but to demand that he take a vacation day when he's handling all his responsibilities? Wouldn't happen.

I don't know if an employer can legally demand that - haven't researched it. I just think it's a really bad management decision/direction.

Of course I don't know what your manager was considering and thinking in all this - but if I were in his shoes, I'd think that I have a dedicated employee. The weather is terrible, dangerous to drive in it, but he/she is willing to work from home anyway.
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#1496039 - 01/15/11 03:01 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Lestie G
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"I've been in IT 10 years and being on call is fine; my main issue is just taking a day to work from home and not getting credit for it. If I work 8 hours, but do it at home, its crazy to me to be required to take 8 hours of PTO."

I agree with Lestie. The quick fix for this is when you do take PTO or are require to take PTO - you are off - end of story. No emergency phone calls answered, no responding to e-mail. Two can play the same game. The boss can't have it both ways and expect to keep a skilled individual on the payroll.
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#1496432 - 01/18/11 06:11 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? rlcarey
Justin Case Offline
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Originally Posted By: rlcarey
I agree with Lestie. The quick fix for this is when you do take PTO or are require to take PTO - you are off - end of story. No emergency phone calls answered, no responding to e-mail. Two can play the same game. The boss can't have it both ways and expect to keep a skilled individual on the payroll.


Completely agree. You need to talk to your boss.
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#1497174 - 01/19/11 07:51 PM Re: When Is PTO Required? Can My Employer Do this? Justin Case
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Drex,

Your getting a lot of good advice here. My two cents are:

1) you cannot be asked to work and take PTO at the same time... You can choose to work, but you cannot be required regardless of if you are salaried or not.

2) Flex time is a unique policy and should be addressed with your HR manager. This will prevent confusion in the future.

If you work but your employer cannot "verify" your hours as it seems is this case, you will probably have to take the PTO day if you and your boss don't work that specific case out. He or she can require that since there is no policy in place and the rest of the bank has an unexcused absence policy. HR can back him, precedent be darned.
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