Non-bargaining employees will be able to carry over the already allowed 80 hours of Paid Time Off (PTO) , which becomes deferred PTO and any additional unused 2021 PTO will be added to your deferred COVID-19 PTO balance.
The company also recognizes that due to COVID-19 and workload constraints, employees have not been able to use some of their already existing deferred COVID-19 PTO. As a result, employees have until Dec. 31, 2024, to use all deferred COVID-19 PTO. In addition, the deferred COVID-19 PTO will be valued at the employee's rate of pay on the date when they use the time off. The typical "use it or lose it" provision still applies to any regular deferred PTO (up to 80 hours) carried from 2021 to 2022. For bargaining unit employees, FirstEnergy will work with union leadership on similar carryover options.
Beginning in 2022, employees should use time off in the following order:
- Deferred PTO
- Current-year PTO balanced with deferred COVID-19 PTO, keeping in mind that:
- No more than 80 hours of current-year PTO can be deferred into the next year
- Employees have until Dec. 31, 2024, to use all deferred COVID-19 PTO
- Frozen/banked vacation, if applicable
- Purchased PTO, if applicable
Following standard practice, each business unit may determine the PTO request and approval process for its area of responsibility based on its operational needs. Employees should discuss any time-off requests with their supervisor.
To allow for year-end time corrections, the additional deferred COVID-19 PTO will be available in SAP by early March 2022.
And remember, employees are encouraged to schedule and use their PTO, as time away from work has significant wellness benefits.
Take PTO and Recharge
Employees are encouraged to schedule and take time off. Even if you are not leaving home, time away from work to refresh and recharge has significant wellness benefits. See the Aug. 16 article on workplace burnout to learn more about the work-life balance benefits.
Use of deferred COVID-19 PTO at Retirement
PTO remaining at separation is not paid out to employees. The current non-bargaining Time-Off Program allows that at retirement, and with supervisor approval, employees may take up to 30 calendar days off using any unused PTO, deferred PTO, purchased PTO, banked or frozen vacation immediately following their last regular workday. These 30 calendar days may not extend beyond the last day of the month in which the employee last worked.
Employees planning to retire after 2021 who have any deferred COVID-19 PTO hours remaining should talk to their supervisor. To help these employees use this additional time before retirement, employees may be eligible to receive an exception to the 30-day provision described above, which would permit an extension up to 60 calendar days.
If you are a current or former participant in the Long-Term Incentive Program, please contact a member of the Executive Compensation team to discuss your time-off prior to retirement. The Executive Compensation team will advise the appropriate use of PTO to ensure the employee meets the criteria established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the employee is not impacted by excise tax that could otherwise be imposed by the IRS.
If you have questions, please talk to your supervisor or your local Human Resources representative. Employees can find additional information on the company's response to COVID-19 on the FirstEnergy Today portal, the Corporate Health & Safety Coronavirus SharePoint site or MyFirstRewards.com.