Am I Entitled to Sick Leave Pay?
Many U.S. employers offer sick leave pay. Some even offer accrued sick leave pay when employees quit or get laid off. But there are no state laws that mandate sick leave pay, according to Nolo.com. It's strictly voluntary* for employers. They typically offer it as a benefit to attract and retain employees.
If employers do offer sick leave pay, then employees are entitled to it, if they comply with the terms and conditions in related policies or employment contracts. Since it's a voluntary benefit, employers may call the shots. For example, by policy, your employer can require you to submit a doctor's note to receive your sick leave pay. However, if employers don't apply their sick leave policies consistently to all employees, "cheated" employees might be able to sue.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you might be entitled by Federal law to take up to 12 weeks of sick leave for your own or a family member's illness, without losing your job or group health benefits. However, the Act does not require your employer to offer sick leave pay. Your state might have a similar law that changes the Federal Act.
*Update: In April 2005, the Healthy Americans Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate. If the Act becomes Federal law, it will require employers to provide annual paid sick leave benefits to employees who work at least 1500 hours in a year. This article will be further updated if the Act becomes law. Meanwhile, get more details about the pending new law here.
|Information is not the same as legal advice. This is information only and not intended as legal advice. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. Please see an attorney for legal advice. Should you act based on this information, you do so at your sole risk. Neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability arising from your decision to act on this information.|