Abuse of PTO, make up time, etc.

So who is running the show? I face these issues daily and need your help and support so I can make some informed decisions.

1. An employee (non-exempt) uses up all of their PTO (we are very generous with our PTO)and now wants time off and wants to make it up. I have given them the choice to take the time off without pay or make it up. (Our personnel policy say's make up within 2 weeks). I only wanted make-up time during the week it is taken but was voted down. I prefer the time off without pay.

2. An employee is late every day. They say they work through lunch to make up their time. The already receive a paid lunch hour, so I consider this double dipping. They do not want to use up their PTO. I have warned this employee numerous times but her manager doesn't want me to go too far because she is productive. I am thinking about taking away PTO time from her if this tardiness continues. WOrking through a lunch hour that they are already being paid for to earn that time towards make up is not acceptable to me. Can I do this on a case by case basis or should it be included in the employee handbook.

3. Some employess want to earn comp time to be saved for use at a later date. It is my understanding that comp time is to be used the week that it earned. No one listens!!

HELP, I am drowning.

Judy (As you can probably tell, HR is only one of the many hats I wear).


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Sounds like your company needs some hour and wage training soon! I don't envy you these headaches, but know that you can work through them - you've got the law to start with.

    Let's assume you are a regular, private industry business (not governmental or unionized).
    1. Change your personnel policy immediately. "Make Up Time" would be applicable to a work week only. 40 hours. Don't allow making up in the next week or pay period - DOL doesn't allow this. (see #3 below)

    2. Employees can't make up time during time worked - what? s/he wants to work doubly hard for half an hour?! You're right - if this ee is getting a paid lunch, then you can reasonably expect them to work through it anyway - no time available then to make up missed work. Discipline for tardiness - "attendance mandatory during core business hours, absences are covered with PTO or are unpaid." Define your core business hours. You may also want to check your states regs on break times.

    3. In Missouri, the only type or classification of employee that can receive Comp (compensatory) Time are those involved in emergency response, or State employees. One hour "extra" worked buys two hours off down the road, usually to be used within a set time like "12 months from accrual". What you can offer your non-firefighter/police officer employees is flex time, which can be used for time off during core business hours when the ee has already reached 40 hours before the end of the work schedule. If you don't, hourly employees get overtime for working over 40 hours in a workweek. Period.

    Okay, now I'm prepared for other, more-experienced Forumites to jump on both of us!
  • JUDY: First of all welcome to the Forum, where you can get some real help! You are on the side of the law, but stuck right in the middle where you as the HR should not be. HRs should never become the "Time clock police". The only thing in this arena that you should be doing is to quitely teach and train the leadership of your company about FLSA. A long time ago I was in the frustrated position that you are in and I attend several seminars on Payroll and the law. I now do not loose the first minute of productive time on time clock issues for these items of the business world belong to the highly compensated Operations/production group of leaders. I make sure we do the calculations and conversions of time to payroll dollars and I advise the General Manager when I sense that a leader is abusing the FLSA and the specific issues.

    Today I had a visit with the Production manager and he was seeking guidance on issues surrounding the contracting of one of our employees for summer time lawn mower cutting at our remote location. After hearing what he wanted to do, I told him what he had to do to make this event come to pass. He left with a clear understanding on how to do what he and the employee wanted to do. Now we will sit back and execute the "Contract Labor of one of our EXEMPT employees on a 1099 supported with a weekly invoice for services rendered".

    Talk to your boss about extracting yourself from the roll of "TIME CLOCK POLICEMAN OR POLICEWOMAN". You should never be in the "mode of operation" of issuing any punishment upon any employee for wrong doing unless you have been designated as the investigative officer for some inappropriate activity. It is not your roll to discipline anyone, only deplomatic communications to the leadership about wrong doings is where you need to be.

    Specific response to your concerns. 1)Time off with out pay is one positive piece of advise to the individual. Making up time with in a single day is possible and within the same work week is also possible. The company must pay for all minutes where work is permitted. 2) No one can vote you down on this issue for you are supported by the provisions of the FLSA. 3) When someone is at work and physically or mentally permitted to work the company must pay. rest breaks and meal breaks are specifically written in the FLSA. If the company allows some one to work while they are suppose to be on a meal break, the company must pay. Not only that, but when this happens they are not on a "meal break" they are working. The prescribed time for the meal break be it 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 2 hours, that period must start all over once the meal break is disrupted for some work task. Thus the reason to get the employee out of the desk and away from the work site to prevent the interuption of the break. 4) Comp time is only allowed for governmental agencies. We private companies are not allowed such a thing to creep into our vocabulary and our quite worlds of work. Sure it happens but only for the EXEMPT employees who are paid for the week whether they are there or not.

    I hope I will read your response that you have begun a new HR life external to the Time Clock. With 211 employees I make sure they all get paid based on the time cards, time sheets, faxed messages relating to time worked. I watch the process and advise the management chain when I see or susptect something to be out of place. I assist the managers in the development of written employee warnings and evaluation. I never, never, never, take any kind of personal actions to change the employee's income as based on their bosses input to that process!!!

    Good luck with your efforts to get behind the ball and guide it rather than have it run over you.


  • Careful with that contract. Contract or no, the non-exempt work of an employee as you describe, could very well destroy your exemption, and the hours worked per the contract all count towards the 40 o/t. The only way around this is if you are governmental and the 'other work' is 'occasional and sporadic.'
  • Our PTO policy specifiaclly states that only mimimal amounts of PTO are to be used to cover "unscheduled absences". We define "minimal" as 5 days per year (with some obvious exceptions). Anything in excess of that is considered excessive and grounds for disciplinary action. This keeps the last minute call-in absences under control. Further, I would not allow any make up time to cover tardiness. Those should be handled as a rule violation and subject to discipline. Make-up time should only be allowed for scheduled absences due to doctors appts., school conferences, or other similar situations. Why would you want to offer a benefit, of sorts, such as make up time, for individuals who can't get thier ass to work on time like everyone else? To me that's almost like saying "you can steal from the till as long as you put the money back sometime in the near future"
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