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Thread: Can I "lose" sick leave? Utah

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Can I "lose" sick leave? Utah

    I am an educator in Utah. I have accrued over 950 hours of sick leave which comes out to 119 days. I have been told that my disability benefits kick in after 180 days. I also have 9 non-contract days that have not been used so far this school year.

    HR told me that I will forfeit my non contract days and will receive a paycheck under FMLA for sick days used from 2/23-5/18. By my reckoning, I should be able to use at least the 119 days and other holidays until mid-August, even if I forfeit the non-contract days.

    Can they also force me to forfeit my benefit of paid sick leave for those 3 months?

  2. #2
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    Utah is not among those few states that have mandatory or protected sick leave. It is a voluntary benefit on the part of the employer. Nothing in either Federal nor Utah law protects sick days or says that they cannot be lost.

    It is also SOP for there to be a particular formula for the use of sick days when disability benefits are involved. This will be written into the disability benefits policy.

    Finally, if you are union, what's in the union contract says goes.

    Bottom line, there is nothing you've described that is a violation of laws or protected rights, and no laws exist that will force the employer to allow you to use all 119 sick days. This is a matter of your employer's policies, the benefit policies, and your contract.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks!

    I checked our contract which states:

    D. SHORT-TERM DISABILITY:
    Short Term Disability (STD) is designed to provide continued income only after ALL accrued sick leave, personal leave, vacation days, and non-contract days have been used and after a waiting period without pay. The length of the waiting period without pay depends upon the number of unused sick leave, personal leave, vacation and non- contract days the employee is able to apply to the temporary disability involved.
    STD shall be seventy (70%) of contract salary not to exceed a period of six (6) months. Benefits will only be paid for days within that six- month (6) period designated by the Board as working days for the employee involved.
    Employees returning to work from STD will return to their current position or another administrative position for which the employee is qualified based on individual circumstance. If the new administrative appointment is at a lower salary, then current salary will be maintained for one (1) year.
    Administrators would be allowed to access STD once for each occurrence.

  4. #4
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    Then you'll need to work it out with HR.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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