Note: I am a Rad Tech, not an attorney. Send all of your legal questions to your attorney, not me. This post is not to be considered legal advice.

You should also check out my video discussing the latest MICI poll showing that 161 radiology administrators think “Internal operating and staff costs will remain constant” while profits will increase in the coming financial quarter.

#5 Cheaper Layoffs

If you are a hospital having financial difficulty (hello Covid), you are desperately watching your cashflow.

So IF you have to consider laying off some staff to stay afloat, you have to consider how much it is going to cost you to pay out Earned PTO to those you layoff.

One way to reduce the amount of payments a company has to make during layoffs is to force staff to take vacations and burn their PTO.

TIP: In this instance, using your forced vacation time to look for a replacement job might be a good use of the paid time off.

#4 Makes the Books Look Better

There is no hospital in American that wants bad looking financials. If volumes are going down, like Covid caused earlier this year, then revenue started tanking.

Since nobody expected the industry to tank as hard as it did, very few hospitals got ahead of that lost revenue curve and took huge hits financially.

Of course, many got government bailouts…but that doesn’t stop them from making the most of a bad situation (ie., still sending you home on forced PTO.) After all, you should never let a good crisis go to waste…

Radiology departments never go on strike. Have you ever heard of one doing it? Nope. Admin knows that and squeezes the staff until the books look good enough. Then spend years trying to dig out of a “bad culture” left in the wake. Been there. Done that.

#3 The US Department of Labor Says They Can

Some states have employment laws that regulate PTO (like California). In these cases, the employee is always protected by whatever legislation, Federal or state, which is most favorable to the current situation.

For once, California doesn’t look so bad…

However, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has declared the following:

  1. Employers may provide vacation time and then later require that it be taken in a specific way or on a specific day.

  2. A private employer may require exempt staff to take a forced vacation day or reduce their accrued vacation time for either a partial, or a full day’s absence, so long as the employees receive an amount equal to their guaranteed salary for the time.

  3. Employers may also require employees to use their accrued vacation time for any absence, without affecting their exempt status, as long as the employees are paid an amount equal to their guaranteed salary.

*Courtesy of https://www.overtime-flsa.com/forced-vacation-is-it-legal/

Disability

Generally, if your employer offers you PTO, the employer is free to det the terms and conditions under which these PTO hours must be used.

However, Congress has passed new legislation called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

This was done to assist workers during this period which includes paid sick leave for certain employees. This act prevents employers from requiring employees to use other paid leave before utilizing paid sick leave.

#1 Because You Aren’t Priority

Even though these benefits often help a company retain quality employees and eliminate excessive employee turnover, they do not fall under the scope of the FLSA Overtime Laws or  FairPay Overtime Rules.

Just remember, though sometimes seasonal, forced vacations increase the possibility that forced vacation may be a harbinger of layoffs.

By forcing employees to use vacation time during slow volume periods, companies are not as likely to find themselves short of vacationing employees during peak customer times when business picks up.

For some companies, that’s standard practice. Each July, General Motors Corp., for example, encourages salaried employees to use vacation time while the plants are converted for the next year’s car models.

The problem? Hospitals done close for patients to covert to the next year’s model.