Question: How Many PTO Days Is Normal?

Does accrued PTO have to be paid out?

In California, employers are not required to provide any paid vacation or paid time off (PTO) to their employees.

Among other things, this means that accrued vacation cannot expire and must be paid out to an employee upon termination or separation from the employer.

The same rules apply to PTO.

How is PTO determined?

The calculation

Divide the number of PTO hours granted per year by 24 for twice monthly or by 26 for every two weeks. So employees given two weeks of vacation per year will get 3.333 hours each bi-monthly paycheck.

How much PTO do you earn?

Depending on your business’s personal time off policy, employees may earn PTO after a certain number of hours worked, weeks, or months. For example, an employee earns one hour of paid time off for every 20 hours worked. After working 400 hours, the employee has 20 hours of accrued time off.

What is a good PTO accrual rate?


Years of ServiceAccrual Rate per Bi-Weekly Pay PeriodAnnual PTO Accrual*
Less than one year4 hours13 days (104 hours)
1-3 years4.62 hours15 days (120 hours)
4-10 years6.15 hours20 days (160 hours)
More than 10 years7.69 hours25 days (200 hours)

What is the difference between PTO and sick time?

The difference between sick leave and vacation is that sick leave is used to care for one’s own health (or sometimes, that of a child or other family member), and vacation days are for, well, a vacation or fun. An employer can also offer “flexible” or “personal” time off, or just generic PTO.