HR Hotline: Should Staff Be Allowed to Donate Their PTO?
Q: Some employees have asked if they can donate paid time off (PTO) to a coworker who’s exhausted his time but needs more due to a personal crisis? Is allowing this advisable?
- Uncomfortable situations arising from inappropriate solicitations or pressure to donate or grant PTO
- Perceptions of favoritism or discrimination
- Disagreements over the monetary value of time donated or granted. It’s best to value time off in terms of hours or days rather than dollars.
- Establishing limits on use, which is best done through a neutral policy rather than in response to individual circumstances
- Coordinating with FMLA leave. If FMLA applies, you may need to track FMLA job-protected leave time (unpaid) separately from donated PTO (paid).
- Clarifying tax consequences. Donated PTO is not an IRS-recognized “charitable” donation or reportable/taxable income to the donor, but it is taxable income to the recipient.
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