by Lisa Edison-Smith
Because of new legislation taking effect August 1, private-sector employers in North Dakota will find it easier to avoid paying out unused paid time off (PTO) or vacation time when employees quit.
Under the old law, an employer was required to pay a departing employee for any PTO or vacation time that was “available for the employee to use” at the time of separation. The old rule could be expensive for employers. For example, an employee who was entitled to 12 days of PTO per year and was eligible to take the entire 12 days at the time of her separation from employment was entitled to be paid for all 12 unused days, even if she quit on January 2. That was true even if the employer had a policy saying that PTO was “earned” at a rate of one day per month.