Employers in the U.S. need to seek employment law advice to limit their liability and ensure legal compliance. As labor laws on sick leave continue to be introduced to state legislatures, it is crucial companies consult with legal counsel to comply abide by new regulations. As a business owner, it is important that you follow legal advice on sick leave to ensure you treat your employees fairly in the eyes of the law. However, there is a lot of inaccurate and misleading information on the subject. Keep reading why you should learn about employment law advice on sick leave. Be sure to ask your lawyer about the following.
Understand The FMLA
One of the most important pieces of employment law advice regarding sick leave is to educate yourself on the Family Medical Leave Act. Many business owners seek legal advice about this topic because it can be difficult to understand. The FMLA entitles workers to unpaid time off for up to 12 weeks in the event of serious medical conditions, either for themselves or their close family. However, not every condition or situation is guaranteed protection. To ensure you are compliant with federal law, read up on the FMLA and consult with an expert whenever an employee applies for FMLA. A violation of this act is a violation of federal law. For that reason, understanding the FMLA is one of the most valuable pieces of employment law advice on sick leave.
Include Terms In Your Employee Handbook
Another great piece of employment law advice is to include your company’s sick leave policy in your employee handbook. This is where you can extend your policy beyond the regulations set by the FMLA if you so choose. Mention if you pay employees for sick days and if you deduct paid vacation time to do that. Unless stated otherwise, your employee handbook is seen as a contract between you and your employees. For that reason, it is important that you highlight your sick leave policy in the handbook. Then, you can limit your liability in the event of a lawsuit. If you wish to follow employment law advice on sick leave, be sure to include your terms in your employee handbook.
Check State And Local Laws
Additionally, employment law advice will tell you to check your state and local laws on sick leave to ensure compliance. In recent years, more states and municipalities have begun adopting their own sick leave laws. These rules and regulations extend further than those covered in the FMLA. Hire an attorney who specializes in employment law. Then, you can ensure your company is fully abiding by any additional regulations set by the state or city. Business owners such as yourself need to follow this bit of employment law advice. After all, the trend of state and local sick leave laws is on the rise.
Ensure Consistency Across Worksites
Furthermore, because many states and cities have different regulations, another beneficial piece of employment law advice is to ensure consistency across worksites. This tip is intended to improve overall company morale as well as ensure compliance with the law. If you have worksites across the country, many experts recommend you adopt the strictest of the state laws for your entire company. This ensures you are compliant in each state you operate in. Also, as legislatures introduce new laws to states you already operate in, you are likely to be abiding by them already. Ensure policy consistency across all worksites to guarantee you follow employment law advice.
Lump Sick Days Into PTO
The last piece of employment law advice on sick days we have for you is to lump sick days into personal time off. This is a win-win for you and your employees. You can improve your absence management significantly by using this strategy. Lumping sick days into PTO allows your employees to be paid for their leave of absence due to illness. As a result, you remain compliant with the law and ease the administrative hardship of keeping track of used leave. However, this may not be the best idea for your particular company structure. Before deciding on the matter, consult with an expert. As far as employment law advice goes, lumping sick days into PTO is a great tip to keep your employees happy and reduce your burden of tracking time off.
Employment law advice on sick leave is crucial for employers to ensure they are compliant with federal and local regulations. Learn about and understand the FMLA as this is the only federal law that covers sick leave. Highlight your policy in your employee handbook to ensure there is no room for miscommunication between you and your employees on the matter. Check local laws and ensure consistency across worksites as a measure to guarantee full legal compliance. Finally, consider lumping sick days into PTO to make both you and your employees happy. Ask your lawyers about these pieces of employment law advice to ensure you are operating your business fairly and legally.