What is Sick Leave?

Sick leave guarantees you time of to stay home when you're sick without losing your job. Paid sick leave includes also a guarantee of pay during the time you're sick. Sometimes Paid Sick Policies allow paid sick leave to be used to take care for sick family members, to go to medical appointments or to address health and safety needs related to domestic violence or sexual assault.

FLSA: No Coverage Sick Leave

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not provide rules for sick leave. Sick leave is a matter of agreement between worker and employer.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for eligible workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-months period for the following reasons:

1) Birth and care of the eligible worker's child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the worker. 
2) Care of a family member (spouse, child, parent) with a serious health condition
3) Care of the worker's own serious health condition. 

Read in the next link more about the Family and Medical Leave Act

Paid sick leave

The U.S.is one of the only five countries in the world without a national policy on paid sick days. Besides the US, only Lesotho, Liberia, Papua-New Guinea and Swaziland don't have paid sick leave. Not that we don't want legislation. 86% of the people surveyed in 2008 by the National Research Center at the University of Chicago said they favor a basic labor standard fo paid sick leave.

Labor stats sick pay

The U.S. federal government guarantees its employees 13 paid sick days per year. 89% of the people employed by state and local governments receive paid sick leave and 61% of the private-sector workers receive sick pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That rules out 39% of the nation's private workforce, that stands for more than 50 million American workers - many of them low wage-earners: waitresses, sales clerks or school bus drivers.

09/01/16 - Illinois requires employers to provide employees the ability to use employer provided personal sick leave benefits for absences due to the illness, injury or medical appointment of their immediate family. The Employee Sick Leave Act takes effect January 1, 2017.

02/20/2016 -  Vermont passed recently legislation that will require employers to provide employees with at least 24 hours (or 3 days) of paid sick leave during a 12 month period. After that first year employers will be required to provide employees with 40 hours (or 5 days) of paid sick leave. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2017. Read more on Vermont's Paid Sick Leave.

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 is the nation's second state-law mandate requiring paid sick leave. Connecticut signed the first paid sick leave into law in 2011. Effective July 1, 2015 California's law requires all employers to provide California employees (with some exceptions) with paid sick leave.  See more at California Sick Leave.

More States Ban Paid Sick Leave Legislation

Ten states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin — have passed preemption laws that ban all cities and counties from enacting paid sick days bills, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. Momentum has picked up recently, with seven of these laws passed in 2013, and Pennsylvania is currently considering a law to ban paid sick leave, according to ThinkProgress.

10/01/16 - September 2015, President Obama signed Executive Order 13706, “Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors,” which provides up to seven days of paid sick leave annually for federal contractors’ employees who work on federal contracts. The ruling will take effect for certain contracts and subcontracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017. 

Massachusetts became the 3d state of the nation to guarantee paid sick leave, with voters approving on November 4th 2014 a sick-leave ballot initiative. Under the measure employees can earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, to be capped at 40 days of leave per calendar year, starting July 1, 2015. Small employers with 10 or fewer workers won't have to provide paid sick leave, but their employees could earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time. Read more about Massachusetts Paid Sick Leave.

Federal Employees

* Sick leave for full-time employees: 1/2 day or 4 hours for each biweekly pay period
Part-time employees: 1 hour for each 20 hours in a pay status;
* there is no limitation on the amount of sick leave that can be accumulated
* Unused sick leave accumulated by employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System will be used in the calculation of their annuities
*Sick leave usage is unlimited for an employee's own personal medial needs; annual up to 13 days (104 hours) for family care and bereavement; annual up to 12 weeks (480 hours) for a family member with a serious health condition. An employee is entitled to no more than a combined total of 12 weeks of sick leave annually for all family care purposes. Part-time employees are entitled to use the amount of sick leave pro-rated in proportion to the average hours of work per week.

Source: fs.fed.us/global/employee

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