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HR Coronavirus Q&A: Can I combine employee sick, PTO and Floating Holidays?

Question: I am the CEO of a company that doesn't have a paid sick leave policy. I have a colleague, who's company pays both vacation and sick leave, and another colleague's company that has floating holidays. Are we allowed to combine our employees sick, PTO and floating holiday days off and just give them PTO (personal time off) days? I know some states require that companies give a certain number of sick days. I’m pretty sure California doesn’t, but I could be wrong?

Optima HR Answer: If sick leave is a mandated benefit in the employers’ state then I would not recommend combining it for use.

With regard to Vacation and Floating Holidays, I am not sure if there would be a need to combine them.  Perhaps the employer could simply notify their teams, that for the current situation, they will be more flexible in regards to the normal requirements for requesting time off in advance. In addition, employers who have an actual PTO plan in place (sick and vacation combined) they are required (at least in CA) that the accumulated PTO in the employee's “bank” be paid out when they leave the company. Right now, only vacation time is considered “wages” for the purpose of final checks.

California does have a mandated sick leave law. It is even more generous in particular areas of CA.


Here's a handy chart to help you with the CA State and City Sick Paid Leave Laws -  


I hope this information helps!

Jilian Dimitt, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Human Resources Director, Optima Office, Inc.

If you have more questions, you can contact the Optima HR team at 858.283.1234 or


DISCLAIMER – Due to the daily changing environment and guidelines being provided by the government, this information could be outdated. Please contact our office for the latest updates and guidelines. Optima Office is not responsible for any actions taken due to the information provided. The information provided here is for instructional purposes and does not represent legal advice being given by Optima Office.



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