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Lonelyheart807's avatar

Is this a reasonable request regarding paid time off for a part-time employee?

Asked by Lonelyheart807 (2727points) 2 months ago
14 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I’ve been with my current job for almost four years now. I only work 18 hours a week, and get no paid time off unless one of the “major holidays” falls on a day of the week I work on (Tuesday through Friday.) No sick leave, no personal days, not even any paid bereavement leave.

I know part-time employees as a rule get the short end of the stick, but I haven’t had a vacation in almost four years (unless you count the five months that I was unemployed before that…and that’s not what I call a relaxing time off.)

So today I sent a proposal that next year, in lieu of my typical 3% yearly raise, that they provide me with two weeks paid time off (at 18 hours a week). At least one of the two weeks would be consecutive days (a whole week), while the other one could just be four personal days to be taken one or two at a time.

There’s even a retired lady there who I replaced (I work at a church), who says she would be more than willing to cover for me if I need time off. (This was mentioned by her in casual conversation with me several times, so I would have to more formally confirm with her that she is indeed willing to do so.)
Also, I did the math, and if I’m forgoing my raise next year, it basically wouldn’t even cost them any additional money.

So…is this a reasonable request? I mean, I didn’t even take time off this past February when my dad died, so I would hope they would be willing to consider this. (I was offered time off at that time, but I couldn’t afford to take unpaid leave.) I honestly am thinking of maybe finding a different job if they can’t try to accommodate me on this.

(Oh, and Maryland, where I reside, has in the past few years passed a law requiring that employers offer at least a minimum amount of paid sick time to part-time employers, at one hour for every thirty hours worked, but unfortunately, it only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, so I don’t even get that.)

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zenvelo's avatar

You are part time. I would expect your employer to let you schedule vacation time (so you are not in the office on your regular schedule) but not pay you.

Paid Time Off (PTO) usually applies to employees working more than 25 hours a week.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

@zenvelo yes, I know I am not entitled to anything, but I am proposing giving up a raise that by doing so would cover the cost of this. Again, I just wanted to know if this is a reasonable request, not required of them.

Forever_Free's avatar

I don’t suggest giving up your 3% annual raise. Cost of living is hard enough to keep up and you would forever be stuck at that rate of pay.
Being you are part time and not covered by set rules, you certainly have the ability to request having some time off to have some sort of work life balance. I do not find it an unreasonable ask to take a week of consecutive days as well as some planned time off.
IMHO if they say no and it means that much to you (and it should), then start looking for a more flexible work arrangement.
If you are in good standing, they should consent. Good employees are hard to find.

I have worked as a consultant many times in my career. I am offered no perks. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Yet I have never been denied time off when I need it. Even a week at a time.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

@Forever_Free I would be only giving up my raise for next year, and I’ll make sure they’ll understand that. Because the next year, instead of making on average a dollar more an hour than currently, I would only make a difference of that year’s raise an hour, and the difference between the current rate and that reduced rate of giving up one year’s raise would still pay for the time off. (Did that make sense?)

The cost of living thing does scare me a bit, but with my health issues, if I don’t have an occasional opportunity to decompress, it will probably affect me negatively overtime. And, by an large, they are a generous church to work for, so there is the chance that they will offer not to skip the raise but still give me the time off.

I am in good standing. I have never received any negative feedback in the time I have been there.

And I’m sure they would provide time off, but I need to be paid, or it’s not doable for me. I make little enough a year as it is.

chyna's avatar

I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all. I hope they are supplying you with health insurance since you have health issues.
Another thing you might propose if they say no to your original proposal is to work a Monday and Tuesday 9 hours each day for the week you want off. Then you could be off Wednesday through Monday without missing any pay.
Of course that might be too many hours per day if you have health issues.
Good luck. I hope they grant you your proposal.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Lonelyheart807 Never be afraid to ask for something that you want. Just be prepared for the answer.
I have known many people who mull it over (not that you are) and never ask. I typically tell them to just ask for what you want. Most respectable organizations will honor your request or counter offer. If they deny, then you know more about that group and can make more informed decisions in the future.

Good luck

janbb's avatar

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask but they may or may not give you it. Good luck!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Seems reasonable to me, as well. No harm in asking!

I wish companies would buy back vacation time, like they used to. Especially during Covid. Sigh.

JLeslie's avatar

Totally reasonable. Costs your company nothing. The only problem is if they have some sort of policy that part-timers done get vacation then they need to change the policy and offer it to all employees. That’s the biggest hurdle, but they should do it in my opinion, plenty of companies do.

Often PTO is accrued by how many hours you work, so even part-timers are eligible.
Each company does it differently.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

@chyna unfortunately, with my eye issues, that long of a day would not really work out. Also, the needs of the work week don’t really support me doing something like this. I don’t get health insurance from them at all, which is typical for a part-time job. I am on Medicaid, based on my income, so that is a big help.

@KNOWITALL… I had a job years ago that would allow you to sell your vacation days. Honestly, that’s not always a good thing because sometimes you really do need to take some time off but if you need the money, then you just sell all your paid time off.

@JLeslie there’s only one other part-time employee and things are a little different for her because she’s the accompanimist. So she gets paid based on how many rehearsals and performances she is present at.

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds good! I think your request is reasonable and overall benefits the company.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

@JLeslie thanks! Yes, I was trying to offer them something in exchange for letting me have the paid time off. And I’ve already had some feedback from some of the Session members that they think it is a more than reasonable request. They will all have to meet, and a vote will have to be taken, but I don’t see that being a problem. Fingers crossed!

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