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The Ultimate Guide to Florida’s Paid Time Off Policy

Florida PTO payout laws in 2024

It’s where many people go to use their paid time off, but Florida’s labor laws and employment regulations, including the often-misunderstood domain of PTO policies, are not quite so relaxed.

Whether you're planning a family vacation to the Sunshine State, considering a move to or from Florida, or want to better understand your workplace rights, you’ll learn how to make PTO payout laws in Florida work for you with this guide.

We’ll break down the complexities of Florida's PTO policies, delve into the legal framework, discuss different types of PTO, and explore related vacation policies so you can be better equipped to navigate Florida’s legal requirements as an employee or employer.

Table of Contents

Is Paid Time Off Required in Florida?

No — Florida is one of the states in the United States that does not require employers to provide paid time off (PTO) to their employees under state or federal law. The choice of whether or not to offer PTO, along with what types of PTO to offer, lies with each employer.

The only exception would be if an employee was granted PTO in a contract or employment policy.

While Florida employers are not legally required to provide PTO, it is a common work benefit that many employers do offer which may include vacation days, sick days, personal days, and other types of paid leave.

Other states that also don’t have a PTO payout law include:

Florida Paid Time Off Employer Requirements

Inevitably, there will come a time when a Florida resident leaves a company for a new opportunity — what happens to their accrued paid time off that they hadn’t gotten around to using yet?

In Florida, that policy will depend on the employer. Because Florida laws don’t require private employers to offer PTO, let alone pay out accrued time off, it will depend on each employer’s contract or policy.

If there is an existing policy in place, the Floridian would be paid out. If not, they’re out of luck.

If you do get PTO but don’t want to chance not getting paid out for any unused time accrued during your tenure, Sorbet can help.

  • Is free to use.

  • Gives Floridians the ability to advance the cash value of PTO without needing to dip into their paycheck/use a paycheck advance for extra funds.

  • Allows residents of Florida to get their money on a prepaid Sorbet Visa card within just 1-5 business days, which would need to be paid back once the employee has left the company.

To figure out how much your PTO is worth and how much you can potentially advance, simply use this calculator.

Paid Time off Eligibility

Each employer will have their own specific PTO eligibility requirements if they offer paid time off to their employees. Common PTO eligibility standards might depend on length of service, seniority, or other factors related to loyalty to the company.

If your employer does offer PTO, you have every right to accrue and use PTO in accordance with your employer's policy. If you have any questions about your PTO rights, always defer to your company’s human resources department, or consult with an employment lawyer.

Before leaving a job, Floridians might consider:

  • Checking the employment contract and/or employee handbook to see if there are any policies or stipulations on PTO payout.

  • Reviewing provisions for a CBA PTO payout if you are covered.

If laid off, terminated, or otherwise leaving involuntarily, consider negotiating with the employer to try to secure a PTO payout.

When Are Employers in Florida Required To Pay Out PTO?

Public Sector

Unlike private employers in Florida, those in the public sector abide by different rules when it comes to PTO. In the Sunshine State, some public employees, like those who work for the state or a county, have the right to be paid out up to 25 percent of any accrued sick leave when they retire or are terminated.

However, this only applies to accrued sick time — not any other type of paid time off.

Some federal employees may also be entitled to be paid out for their unused time when they voluntarily leave employment, but, again, it will depend on the type of employee.

Interestingly, employers contracted by the federal government do not have to pay out unused paid time off.

Prior Written Contractual Agreement

Remember that tip before about checking your employment contract? Here’s why.

If there was an existing agreement to provide paid time off, you could make the argument that PTO was part of your overall compensation, which would then need to be paid upon your departure from the company.

Vacation Time vs. Vacation Pay in Florida

Florida doesn’t have a statute for vacation time, but let’s say a private employer decided to offer its employees 21 days off per year.

These 21 days off, aka vacation days, are either paid or unpaid depending on the company’s policies. If you still earn wages during those vacation days, that pay becomes vacation pay.

Something to pay attention to is that paid vacation employment laws in Florida for vacation pay do not typically require an exact amount of what that vacation pay will be.

Typically, though, vacation pay is equal to regular pay — meaning if your bi-weekly paycheck is $2,000, your paycheck after a 10-day vacation would be $2,000, too.

So, what happens to PTO that goes unused?

Oxford Economics collected the data of 1,303 respondents in one study to explore how unused PTO is handled in the private sector.

The study found that:

  • 26.5% of unused PTO was lost if not used

  • 53.5% of unused PTO was rolled over

  • 18.6% of unused PTO was paid out and;

  • 4.5% of unused PTO was unaccounted for

If you’re one of the lucky Floridians who are provided repayment for your unused PTO, it might shock you to learn you can access that money early.

There’s a chance that employers with this kind of PTO policy will pay employees for their unused PTO when they leave the company. With Sorbet, you don’t have to wait until you leave your place of employment to get paid for your unused PTO.

Explore your options with Sorbet today.

Is Paid Time Off in Florida Paid Out?

It depends — Florida does not require PTO to be paid out, even for employers who choose to offer PTO to their employees, but the choice is left up to the company and its policies.

In case there is an obligation to pay out accrued, unused, vacation time at the termination of employment due to a prior written contractual agreement, the employer is the one who pays.

What Are the PTO Laws of Florida?

While Florida law doesn't currently require employers to pay out unused accrued PTO to employees when they leave, 15+ other states — including North Dakota, Ohio, Maine, Tennessee, and North Carolina — do.

But laws are constantly being passed, so it’s best to stay abreast of employment law changes to ensure you’re aware of your rights as an employee should you choose to leave your company.

Does Quitting vs. Being Terminated Affect PTO Payout in Florida?

The manner in which an employee leaves a company only affects PTO payout upon departure if that is what is specified in the employment contract or policy.

For example, if the employment contract states that employees are only paid for unused time if they are laid off, but not if they voluntarily leave or are terminated for cause, failure to pay out PTO upon a layoff would be considered a breach of contract.

Is Unused Sick Leave Treated the Same as Unused PTO in Florida?

Whether or not unused sick leave is treated the same as unused PTO in Florida depends on the employer's policy.

Private employers have no legal obligation to pay out unused sick leave to separated employees.

However, as some employers look for ways to attract and retain talent, they may choose to pay out sick leave as a recruitment strategy for potential employees.

Rolling Over Unused Vacation Days in Florida State

Employers aren’t obligated to let employees roll over unused leave into the following year.

With Sorbet, you can take advantage of your employer's Use It or Lose It policy if you won’t be taking vacation by the end of the year.

Sorbet allows you to advance your unused PTO and gain access to money you already earned without incurring high fees and penalties.

Access your money in a way that’s a true benefit — instead of just a PTO option.

Does Florida Have a Use It or Lose It Vacation Policy?

Florida employers are free to decide whether or not to implement a Use It or Lose It vacation policy.

This type of vacation policy states that an employer doesn’t have to pay employees for unused vacation leave at the end of the year.

For example, if you have 21 vacation days and only use 18 of them by December 31, you’ll lose those last 3 days, unpaid.

How Not To Waste Your Unused PTO

If you’re one of the lucky ones and your Florida employer pays out your PTO, you have the option to wait until you leave your job to take advantage of that extra cash.

Or you can use Sorbet and access it now.

Sorbet can help you estimate the worth of your PTO and get a cash advance by:

  1. Calculating the value of your unused PTO​. Find out an estimate of what PTO is worth in just a few clicks!

  2. Applying in minutes. We’ve made applying easy and risk-free. Waste no worries on a credit check or commitment. You can change your mind at any time with no strings attached.

  3. Get paid with the cash advance on your unused PTO.

We use an industry average and our proprietary algorithm to estimate the monetary potential of your unused PTO days and then help you access those funds for whatever you want (or need).

Don’t wait until you’re faced with leaving and have to see if your employer will or won’t pay you out for any accrued time off. Access your unused PTO with the help of Sorbet today.

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