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Massachusetts - Sick Time Payout

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  • Massachusetts - Sick Time Payout

    If an employee has given their 2 week notice and calls in sick during their notice period, does an employer need to pay them for that time?

    The company uses a seperate vacation/sick bank. The vacation time is paid upon termination from the company (in accordance with MA law), but the sick time is not paid as a terminal benefit.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Depends on the company policy. It would be legal to have a policy that states that unapproved sick time during an employee's notice period will not be paid. That is because sick pay is not a vested benefit in any state.
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    • #3
      Phil can correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think it would depend on what company policy has been. If they have a written policy that no sick time will be paid for any time you miss after you put in your notice, I can't think of any law that such a policy would be violating. But Massachusetts is almost as employee friendly as California, and I doubt that would pass muster if they just suddenly out of the blue decided not to pay for sick time because a person had given notice.

      I should also point out that unless the person was really sick, taking time off after they've given notice sort of defeats the purpose of giving notice at all.
      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.


      • #4
        I think Cathy's on the mark.

        It most likely would depend upon the company policy. But very few company policies prohibit employees from taking their sick, vacation or other paid-time-off during the notice period.

        Absent a specific policy, the notice period should be treated like normal work time.
        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.


        • #5
          Thanks for your guidance. There is no specific company policy as this is a small company that doesn't have many HR policies at all (but they should). This has been their practice and it appears that they are well within their right to not pay out sick time during the notice period.


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