Daley fights ‘use or lose’ leave policies in Pa. with bill protecting workers

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley is introducing a House bill to limit employers in Pennsylvania from enacting “use it or lose it” leave policies at workplaces.

So called “use it or lose it” paid time-off policies prevent employees from carrying over or cashing out their leave after a certain period has passed, such as the end of a calendar year. While new leave may be provided to employees, typically under these policies, any time earned but not used is forfeited without compensation.

“We want to prevent any trend toward employers using these policies because paid time off is money earned by a worker; those wages and time must not be allowed to be taken back,” Daley said. “Workers deserve fair protections in state law against unscrupulous practices, and that’s what this bill would do.”

Use-or-lose policies are prohibited in California, Colorado, Montana, and Nebraska. In these states, while employers may place caps on vacation and other leave accruals, unused accrued paid time off is generally considered wages that, once earned, cannot be taken away from employees.

Daley is seeking co-sponsorship among her Republican and Democratic colleagues in the House.

“While it may seem easy to those in some professions to encourage workers to use their vacation and other paid time off, many employees are denied the use of leave multiple times by their supervisors,” Daley said. “Some other employers might place limitations on when and how vacation time is used.  For those reasons and more, paid time off is meant to be banked and used when it’s conducive for the employee and employer. That can take years, when workers routinely give 10, 20 and 30 years of service to an employer.”

The legislation has yet to receive a bill number. It will be posted after it is fully written and introduced.