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Thread: Accrued vs granted sick time

  1. #1
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    Default Accrued vs granted sick time

    The company I work for has you accrue sick time instead of granting you your sick time at the beginning of the year. If you have to accrue time, do they have to let you carry it over to the following year if it is not used? Every place I have worked at before this, granted you sick time and if you did not use it, it was lost. The accrued vacation time was able to be carried over to the following year, since it was tied to your work schedule. (ie ... you earn it as you go)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlenek209
    The company I work for has you accrue sick time instead of granting you your sick time at the beginning of the year. If you have to accrue time, do they have to let you carry it over to the following year if it is not used? Every place I have worked at before this, granted you sick time and if you did not use it, it was lost. The accrued vacation time was able to be carried over to the following year, since it was tied to your work schedule. (ie ... you earn it as you go)
    There is no law that dictates how an employer has to provide sick time to it's employee whether accural or up front. Because sick leave is generally meant to be used in the case of sickness or for medical attention, its use is limited to those situations. Sick leave is therefore a contingency against illness, and cannot be claimed at termination in the same manner as unused vacation leave or carried over, unless expressly allowed in a contract or an employer's policy.
    Last edited by mlane58; 05-19-2006 at 12:08 PM.
    Somedays you're the windshield and somedays you're the bug.

  3. #3
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    Default Accrued vs Granted sick time

    Thank you for your reply, but I was more concerned with the difference between accrual vs granted time off. My concern was...Can a company not allow you to carry over a balance of off time that accrued (linked to hours worked, hence earned)? I know that the purpose of sick time is for medical attention, but I don't think that would really affect if it can be carried over into the next year. Many people use sick time for times other than being sick and some use vacation time to cover time off work when sick. If you accrue time (earn it) can they take it away from you at the end of the year if it is not used?

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    I beleive mlane58 answered your question, "There is no law that dictates how an employer has to provide sick time to it's employee whether accural or up front".

    It means an employer may place restrictions on it as they see fit, or give none at all. A use it or lose it policy is legal for sick leave, but not PTO. If your employer allows the use of "sick leave" for personal business it may qualify as vacation, and thefore cannot be "taken".

    The DLSE determines each companys plan on a case by case basis.
    I have been interested in employment rights for some time, however I am not a lawyer. Always consult with an attorney, as they are more knowledgeable.

  5. #5
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    Default Accrual vs granted time

    Ok...Maybe I am not wording my question clearly. I am only wondering about the difference in handling accrued time vs granted time at the end of the year. It was my understanding that if PTO was earned (accrued) then it can not be taken away at the end of the year if not used. You earned it, it was contingent on your work hours. So if they call it "sick time" or "vacation time", if you have to earn it, then it should be yours to keep. I am not trying to be difficult, I am sorry if I am sounding that way, but so far this particular question has not been answered. Both times the focus was on sick vs vacation time, not accrued vs granted time.

  6. #6
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    So if they call it "sick time" or "vacation time", if you have to earn it, then it should be yours to keep.

    Actually, what posters have said is that it does make a big difference as to whether it's sick time or vacation time. The law does not treat vacation time and sick time the same. In many states, the law treats accrued vacation days as vested wages. For that reason, "use it or lose it" policies with regard to vacation days are illegal because they would be viewed as a reduction in wages.

    The law does not treat accrued sick time as vested wages, so "use it or lose it" policies are not illegal. The employer is free to see limitations and restrictions on sick time as it sees fit including not allowing employees to roll it over.

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