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AKICILJ

This question feels like "do my homework for me" but the truth is I've done what surfing I could and haven't found anything remotely like the reference I need. So I come to the All Knowing LiveJournal crowd to get some input.

It's about vacation time, or Paid Time Off, or sick leave, or whatever a place of business chooses to call it. In the case in question, employees earn 10 days vacation/sick time for their first year of employment, and an additional one day for every subsequent year they are there. All new employees serve a three month "probation" period before they are eligible for vacation and/or health insurance (and yes, company-paid health insurance is provided for all full timers).

It's in the details where I get lost, and my guess is that there are some industry standard answers, but I would rather hear what you know about it.

Would a new employee (A) accumulate those PTO hours while on probation, and then have access to them after the three months are up, or (B) only start accumulating PTO at the three month mark? (I would guess A.)

The Employee Manual implies that there is no difference between vacation and sick time, but the payroll services company being used requires knowing which category any used time is from. Is there some special consideration, perhaps legally mandated, that makes those two classifications different?

Once I know more about how PTO accumulates, I get the fun (not) task of going back in time for all of our full-timers and figure out what they really should have, since all I know for sure right now is that what's on the payroll report is not correct. At a minimum, one person who has been there more than a year isn't listed, and two others have accumulation rates that don't line up with the 80 hours per 24 pay period baseline.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
qnofhrt
Oct. 3rd, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
Disclaimer - not an HR specialist so I don't know if there are laws regulating PTO. I'm guessing not because I've seen it applied differently.

All the jobs I've had came with a probation period and the time off began accumulating during that time. My current job I could start taking that time off as soon as I finished the probation period. Other places you had to wait a year.

I believe that PTO and sick leave are different piles of money because every place I've stopped working at paid me for my vacation time that I had accumulated but not sick time.
alicebentley
Oct. 5th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Even knowing that it's being handled differently at different places is a great help.
kate_schaefer
Oct. 3rd, 2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
Alice, I have worked in programming payroll processes, though not recently. At the time when I worked with this stuff, there was no industry or legal standard definition for how paid time off is accumulated; it all depends on the definition used by the particular business. I have not seen anything in the intervening years that suggests that any legal standard definition has been created.

If I were approaching this problem as a contractor, I'd start as you have, then write up the definition as I understood it based on what the data showed. I'd show that definition with examples using employee data to my immediate supervisor and ask for guidance in writing. If my supervisor couldn't make the decision or wouldn't put it in writing, I'd bump it up a level until I did get a decision. In all the work I did, it would be normal for me to run into definition problems of this sort, since my specialty was finding and resolving problems with payroll conversions.

Good luck. People care a lot about how this kind of problem gets resolved, and it's no fun being the person stuck with disentangling sloppy data processing.
alicebentley
Oct. 5th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
There's only one level "up" from me, so at least I know I won't get pulled into some paperwork snarl from competing bosses.

The main hassle is going to be manually going through the last two years of timecards nailing down what leave was asked for and granted - but it's only for four people, so not horrible.

Thanks for the feedback!
sff_corgi
Oct. 3rd, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
I could ask my work what method they use, if that's any help.
alicebentley
Oct. 5th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
I now know enough to know that there are only guidelines, not rules, and it's pretty much up to the employer and whatever wording is in the Employee Manual.

I don't think it will be any problem walking my boss through what I've spotted, what I researched and what I recommend we do about it. My challenge now is to snuff enough other fires to be able to do it. The urge to go in on the weekend and do it while no one is interrupting is strong indeed.
sff_corgi
Oct. 5th, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
O_O Wow, you must really like them.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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