Customized Benefits

February 1, 2005

We have a long-time employee who was just diagnosed with a serious illness, and has used up all of her time off to date. According to our employee manual, she doesn’t qualify to take the time off that she would like to take, so she feels she needs to quit. I’d like to keep her, but how can I change the rules for one employee out of 100?

Question: We have a long-time employee who was just diagnosed with a serious illness, and has used up all of her time off to date. According to our employee manual, she doesn't qualify to take the time off that she would like to take, so she feels she needs to quit. I'd like to keep her, but how can I change the rules for one employee out of 100?

Answer: There's no reason you can't work a special deal with a long-term employee. Write something similar to an offer of employment letter with the new terms and conditions. Or grant the paid time off (PTO) as a discretionary bonus. You may want to set it up so that it does not accrue as a benefit. If she doesn't use it before she leaves the practice or within a specified period of time, like a calendar year, then the PTO benefit is lost.