Paid time off (PTO) is time an employee does not actually work but still receives payment. Each company's policy is different, but typically, PTO is used by employees to address personal issues, such as a death in the family, family matters or medical concerns. The wages paid during PTO usually mirror the employee's salary or are based on a payment structure detailed in the employee handbook. In many cases, an employee receives a set number of PTO days annually based on his or her length of service with the company. This time off can be particularly beneficial for mourners observing shiva following the death of a family member. In a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 51 percent of major companies reported having a PTO plan.

What Exactly is Paid Time Off?

Many companies offer employees paid time off, personal days or other considerations in the event of a close personal loss. If there are any questions about a company's bereavement policy, it is best to speak with a supervisor or someone in the human resources department.