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Sick Leave Policies, Rules and Laws

Sick leave is considered paid time off that allows an employee to stay at home and recuperate from an illness or surgery without losing out on pay. Some company's provide sick leave as a part of the company policy, while in certain areas it is a matter that is codified into law. Some states within the United States are trying to pass laws that would require employers to provide access to sick leave for its employees. If you would like to learn more about sick leave, you should read the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

If a woman had three months of sick leave saved for maternity, and their job is cutting cost, so the employer has cut their hours making the individual no longer eligible for sick pay, does the employer still owe the individual sick time that has already been accumulated?

Many jobs allow for sick pay to be accumulated like wages and are the employees regardless. Other jobs treat sick leave as a bonus check if the employee is in a certain level within the company. The individual will need to read the policy that was in effect when they accumulated the sick leave. In many cases if an employee is terminated or quits a job, the sick leave is paid out like a vacation pay would be.

You may want to take the policy pertaining to sick leave to a local attorney and let them determine how it affects you. In some situations, a letter from an attorney will usually encourage an employer to make things right with the employee.

If an individual is on sick leave and completed all the paperwork and sent it to Human Resources and instead of asking for additional information, HR asked fellow employees to gather information is this legal?

This appears to be a Breach of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) law and you can report your employer to the U.S. department of Labor. Furthermore, if your doctor released information regarding your health to your employer or other employees without written consent from you, you can complain to the doctor's licensing board and the Office of Civil Rights for breach of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) law.

When complaining to the Office of Civil Rights, the complaint must be:
1. Filed on paper or electronically
2. List the company and explain what took place to cause the complaint.
3. Filed within 180 days of the violation.

What can an individual do if while on sick leave their Supervisor sent them an email stating that even though the individual was on sick leave, the Supervisor would have to seek disciplinary action towards them if they go on leave without pay, along with other co workers?

If you had a valid sick leave, you would have to use that before you used the FMLA. As for your employer sending the email across to other employees, you might have a claim of harassment or releasing private information. If your FMLA forms hadn't been filled out, this would explain the reason for the employer to share the email with the other employee. However, if this isn't what happened or the reason for the employee sharing the email, you should contact an attorney who is familiar with workplace discrimination. The attorney can determine if you have a valid claim or not.

Our union contract states: "Employees will be permitted to use compensatory time off and/or annual leave in lieu of sick leave when they so request." The Employer argues this implies the employee cannot be out of sick leave to use this benefit. Is this correct?

Nowhere in the sentence does it state that the employee is or isn't out on sick leave if and when they request a modification. The employer can argue that there is an implication that this is what is meant, however there is no writing that says anything about the "employee had already used their allotted sick leave". For this reason, an employee should be able to argue the point and be able to flex-time the sick leave.

Is it legal for Human Resources to put an individual on administrative leave without explanation when the individual was on sick leave and still under doctor’s care?

Without a contract stating otherwise, you are considered an "at will" employee which means your employer can terminate your employment at any time and for any reason. There really doesn't appear to be anything you could do unless you are a union member, you shouldn't expect to be given legal representation through the company for this situation. You could file for unemployment as well as speaking with an attorney about a potential suit based on discrimination if you feel this is why you were put on Administrative leave.

Sick leave is generally provided to employees by employers. Many employers provide a program which allows the employee to accumulate hours of sick leave that coincides with the hours an employee works. There are different ways an employee can accumulate sick leave. In some situations, an employee will have questions about sick leave and is unable to approach the employer. If you have questions regarding sick leave and are unsure where to turn, you should ask an Expert for legal insight.
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