Is it legal for my employer to make me used my PTO for my WC Dr’s appointment? Please help? Is there any laws in CA about thi

Asked about 3 years ago - Costa Mesa, CA

I am in CA. I have a workman's comp claim and have been going to the WC doctor and therapy. My insurance carrier now approved for me to go see a DR which is farther away. I asked my employer to come in an hour early so I can leave an hour early (still working my 8 hrs) so I can make it to my appointment on time. My employer has told me “… are happy to be flexible when able. However, please realize depending on the frequency and day, if your schedule cannot be adjusted for any reason and you still need to take the appointment at that time, you may need to use your PTO in order to do so.” Is this legal for my employer to make me used my PTO for my WC Dr’s appointment? Please help? Is there an laws in CA about the use of PTO for WC appointment?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Nancy J Wallace

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The only law about pay for a Workers Comp appointment is when the EMPLOYER/INSURANCE ADJUSTER sets a QME Evaluation, they are to mail one day of Temporary Disability (like $70-$80) Indemnity to you with the Appointment Notice.

    Otherwise, NO, THERE ARE NO LAWS about using personal benefits accrused for time lost in a comp claim.

    The solution is to agree to appointments only before or after your regular hours.

    If the facility at which you are treating refuses. SWITCH TREATING DOCTORS.

    You do that by checking out the medical provider network on your insurer's website, and seeing which doctors' offices on that list schedule early am and later afternoon appointments.


    Wish I had better news. There are xlnt docs right there at Hoag that should be on most Medical Provider Networks. why you wanted a doctor further away isn't clear... I'd go through the MPN and find docs nearer to work or home.

  2. Brett A. Borah

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately, what they are doing is probably legal. Of course, you don't hve to use PTO. You could take time without pay but that's even worse for you.

    You might want to try to schedule your doctor appointments first thing in the A.M. or last thing in the P.M. or maybe during lunch. You may also want to look for a doctor closer to work so you take less time off for appointments.

    Good luck.

  3. Andrew Steven Neuwelt


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Many companies have Employee handbooks which actually address this issue. Finding the handbook or where it is discussed in the handbook can be a challenge of its own. in Florida, for example, employees are notpaid for missing work for doctor appointments. I advise my clients to set these events early, late or during lunch to avoid missing opportunity to earn wages.

    Call me if you need help at 1-877-WE CAN HELP or visit us at

    Any information contained above is not legal advice nor by responding to your posts am I your attorney . If you... more

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