If you weren’t knowledgeable about it before, this year’s virulent flu season may have made you an expert on the in’s and out’s of your company’s sick leave policy. Were you surprised – perhaps pleasantly so – by your employer’s rules surrounding sick days? Since there currently are no federal regulations requiring employers to offer paid sick leave, you could be caught off-guard when faced with the choice between dragging your sick body into work or foregoing a paycheck to stay home and recuperate.
Minimally, employers are required by federal law through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year, with the assurance of job security, for the following reasons:
- Birth and care of the eligible employee’s child
- Placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee
- Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition
- Care of the employee’s own serious health condition
To be eligible for the above guarantees, however, an employee must:
- Have worked for their employer for at least 12 months
- Have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months
- Work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles
However, many employers understand the value of maintaining a healthy work environment for all employees by making it possible for those who are sick and contagious to stay home without fear of suffering financially. For those employers who offer paid sick leave, a typical policy is to offer five or six “sick days,” or “personal days” that are in addition to vacation days and can be used for sick leave or any other reason.
What’s your company’s sick leave policy? Share it with us below.
Sources: smallbusiness.yahoo.com and dol.gov