Employee Handbook: Sick Leave

Prior to the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, sick policies were relatively straight forward to write and administer. But now, all polices that cover leave (vacation, sick time, fmla, maternity leave, short-term and long-term disability) need to be developed together so that it is clear which time is used first, when absences are paid.

Currently, there are no legal requirements for paid sick leave. The FMLA does require unpaid sick leave for companies subject to this law (generally, companies with 50 or more employees).

The following example illustrates a generous sick leave policy and is included to show some of the possibilities and issues to consider. Note that 3 to 10 days (maximum) of paid sick leave per year is a more common practice.

Small Business Notes
Employee Handbook
Sick Leave

Small Business Notes provides payment of income (sick leave) for eligible employees when that employee is away from work due to illness. Employees will be eligible for sick leave after completion of 90 calendar days of service, if the work at least thirty (30) hours per week. Sick leave is the same as the employee's regular salary, and is subject to the same withholding elections.

Sick leave will be accrued at the rate of a half (1/2) day for each month of service for eligible employees. The balance of unused, but accrued, sick leave days will be carried forward from one year to the next, up to a maximum of 30 days. All sick leave used by employees will be charged against the employee's total sick leave balance. Employees eligible for retirement from Small Business Notes will be paid for all accrued, but unused, sick leave if the total is greater than 25 days.

Any employee that is out on sick leave longer than two days, must return to work with a doctor's certificate stating the nature of the illness and the employee's fitness to return to duty.

If an employee is unable to work due to illness, the employee must notify their immediate supervisor as soon as possible after the onset of the illness, and certainly by the time the employee was to report to work. It is not permissible to be gainfully employed elsewhere while out on sick leave. Any employee doing so will be considered to have voluntarily quit without notice and to not be in good standing at the time of resignation.

Sick leave may be taken in hourly increments for hourly employees, while salaried employees will be charged for sick leave for full day absences only, as salaried employees are not paid for overtime.

Small Business Notes permits use of available sick leave for use during absence due to the birth or adoption of a child to an employee. The sick leave will be in addition to other available time (see Maternity section).

Industrial accidents and illness are covered by Worker's Compensation Insurance pursuant to the requirements of the laws in the various states in which Small Business Notes operates. The sick leave policy outlined above does not apply to those illnesses or injuries that are covered by an applicable worker's compensation policy.