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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    So I will ask a question.

    How many people here actually get sick leave? If you do how many days do you get? And can you accumulate them each year?
    Well, "sick leave" at my job is handled differently than at most places. Our sick leave is actually called "Long Term Sick Leave", which is just that - it is only to be used for long-term, serious illnesses, or to care for a family member who has a serious, long-term illness. One of our sales people has a heart condition, and he went out 2 weeks ago as a result of it (I think he is actually supposed to be having surgery at some point soon) for an indifinite amount of time. That would be an example of someone allowed to use Long Term Sick time for his absence. It is NOT allowed for someone who is just out for 2 days with a stomach bug or really bad PMS (I've been known to take time off for that on occasion).

    Every year on our hire date anniversary, we get 40 hours of Sick Time. I think it goes up to 6 weeks-worth. I believe that, once the Sick Time is all used up, the employee goes on disability.

    For "mild" illnesses, we are expected to use our Vacation Time, which accrues weekly, or our Personal Time.

    Vacation Time accrues on a weekly basis, and how much you get depends on how long you've been an employee. Less than 1 year - .77 hours/week, 1-8 years - 1.85/week, and 9+ years - 2.77 hours/week. This coming June, I will start getting 2.77 hours per week. We are allowed to accrue up to 200 hours, and we are capped after that, but considering that 2.77 gives you 1 whole day off every month, that is still very generous.

    Especially when you also factor in the Personal Time. We get 40 hours of Personal Time on July 1 every year. PT is "use it or lose it" - you don't carry over any unused PT hours past 365 days.

    The reason Vacation time gets capped is because when you leave the company for any reason (even getting fired) you get paid for unused Vacation time. I'm up to 184 hours so, if I left tomorrow, I'd have almost 5 weeks-worth of pay coming to me. Personal and Sick, OTOH, we don't get paid for unused time when we leave.

    Vacation and Personal Time can be used for any reason; in fact, we are expected to use up our Personal Time before we are allowed to start using our Long-Term Sick Time, which is no big deal anyway, since we'll be getting 40 more PT hours come next July 1.

    As I see it, my employer is very, very fair and generous with their time off policies. We don't need to give reasons for getting time off, we only have to ask for it, provided that extended time off (like a week or 2 weeks) be given with far enough advance notice that the fill-in people know and thus will be prepared for the extra work.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 02-16-2011 at 03:30 AM.

  2. #62
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    I get 15 days of vacation and 10 days of sick leave and 3 floating holidays a year. I can accrue 8 weeks of vacation and 4 weeks of sick leave. Floating holidays have to be taken that calendar year. I can't take sick leave or floating holidays with me if I quit or get fired.

    Vacation days can be cashed out. I can even cash them out when I take vacation. Since my dh only gets 1 week of vacation a year, every time we go on vacation I take an equal number of days in cash -- it often pays for the vacation!

    As for coming in sick, in my group a lot of people work at home anyway. So, when they are sick but not that sick, they work from home. If they get sicker, they turn it into a sick day.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    If only it was that easy.
    Exactly. If my husband's employees stayed home every time they were sick then guess what, regional managers will start grilling my husband and he could potentially lose his job.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    Anita18, was your supervisor there? If so, s/he should have said something.
    Unfortunately the week that the first grad student came in with pneumonia, my boss was actually out of state at a conference. (Which is why my sleep schedule was a$$ backwards - nobody was around to pretend I had normal working hours for. )

    I'm sure if he saw her, he would have told her to go home. That one time where I was flattened by PMS (cramps, chills, sweating, I was probably pale as a sheet) he took one look at me and said I should go home, I looked that bad.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    If only it was that easy. We are so short staffed that I have to watch that we have enough licensed staff around to meet legal minimum requirements. I do encourage my staff to stay home when ill, but everyone knows what a huge hardship this places on everyone else. I had to spend two days last week and two days this week at my second site, covering for sick staff. I got absolutely none of my own work done. If only we had the option of hiring more staff.
    Quote Originally Posted by myhoneyhoney View Post
    Exactly. If my husband's employees stayed home every time they were sick then guess what, regional managers will start grilling my husband and he could potentially lose his job.
    Wow, I was really ignorant. I've always been the staff member being supervised and never the supervisor!

    Thanks for shedding light on how complex this all is.

  6. #66
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    I'm a supervisor on my better days, and I have to say that the problem with sick leave is that people abuse it. Either they aren't that sick, or not sick at all--and they ruin it for everyone else who is honest.

    I once had an employee tell me that she "thought" she had a headache and had to go home. I'm not kidding.

    For myself--I only call in sick if I have a fever. If I have a cold, I can usually just tough it out. I usually only take 1 sick day a year, if that.

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    I'd rather say that in France, people abuse sick leave a lot. And I'm 100% sure that a lot of really sick people just tough it up because they want to go further.
    You just have to be careful not to be controlled at home and present zero symptoms. And I can't remember the exact amount of time you can take without loosing some income, maybe 15 days ?
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  8. #68

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    I've been at my current job for 9 years and get 4 weeks vacation, 3 personal days and 8 medical days for doctor, dentist etc.

    As well I am lucky as I get accumulated sick days here so I currently have over 100. However, I think I have maybe used 3 days a year if that as I usually get a cold once a year and usually I am too busy in the lab with an experiment and have to go in anyways.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    I'm a supervisor on my better days, and I have to say that the problem with sick leave is that people abuse it. Either they aren't that sick, or not sick at all--and they ruin it for everyone else who is honest.
    My sister once called in a sick day because she wanted to run errands. That was because she wanted to save her vacation days, she's usually a very hard worker. Once she was telecommuting and she billed for 23 hours straight of work. She ate by the computer and didn't leave unless it was to go to the bathroom. Knowing her, I find this believable.

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    I work for a pharma company, going on 3 years now. I have 15 vacation days and 3 personal days, unlimited sick days (but no more than 5 consecutive days at a time) and up to 24 months of paid leave. Some people, mostly those with young children, work from home 5 days a week unless there is a big team meeting.

    I am lucky that people on my team appreciate the perk and do not abuse it.

    A young woman on my team was pregnant and worked from home during the 13 weeks. And she was WORKING, not laying around. She was answering emails literally on her way into the delivery room. Her last text message to me was: "I need to go in now. Talk to you later. Will send a picture." One hour later, I received a picture of her new born. Having people with work ethic like that, I really don't care if they work from home or from wherever.

    Early last year my mother was gravely ill and I was off work for 5 weeks. The proper procedure should have been that I would take family leave with 75% pay. My manager and I worked it out that if I was not to take any vaction days for the rest of the year, I would not have to officially take the leave. And it worked out just fine. Less paper work for him and 100% pay for me.

    Family friendly policy, supportive management and people with proven track records make a great combination.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by genegri View Post
    Family friendly policy, supportive management and people with proven track records make a great combination.
    I agree with this, although the definition of these policies etc are scalable.

    IME, the people who do take advantage of leave policies tend to be noticed, and even if others think they're 'getting away with it', it will often affect their ability to get raises, promotions, and other opportunities in the workplace.
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    I had a student come to my office to tell me that she had the flu and she wouldn't be back to class until Tuesday. Why in the hell did she have to come to my office? I told her next time an email would suffice, which seemed to offend her. You can better believe I broke out the lysol and sanitizing wipes the second her butt cleared the plane of my door.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    As I see it, my employer is very, very fair and generous with their time off policies. We don't need to give reasons for getting time off, we only have to ask for it, provided that extended time off (like a week or 2 weeks) be given with far enough advance notice that the fill-in people know and thus will be prepared for the extra work.
    That does sound fair and generous. Did the union have any part to play in that policy?
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    I'm a supervisor on my better days, and I have to say that the problem with sick leave is that people abuse it. Either they aren't that sick, or not sick at all--and they ruin it for everyone else who is honest.
    Therefore, by extension, the real problem is the employer not growing a pair and setting down rules for sick time usage. If I or one of my co-workers has to use Sick Time, we have to prove why it is necessary to use it, by providing medical documentation to our supervisors and to HR, and we have to use up our Personal Time first before reverting to using Sick Time hours. Like I said in my first post, Sick Time where I work is strictly limited to long-term serious illnesses.

    Here's something I just looked up that is mindblowing to me, personally: between my Vacation, Personal and Sick Time, I have a whopping 485.59 hours (12 weeks) of Paid Time banked at my job.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    That does sound fair and generous. Did the union have any part to play in that policy?
    I wouldn't know... we are a non-union shop, and have been for far longer than I have been working there, and I've been there since 2002. The union they did have way back when was busted sometime in the 1970's or 1980's. The warehouse workers (and we still have some former union guys working out there), however, still are paid based on how union jobs are paid in regards to OT being based on the workday hours rather than on the workweek hours.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 02-16-2011 at 09:53 PM.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    Therefore, by extension, the real problem is the employer not growing a pair and setting down rules for sick time usage. If I or one of my co-workers has to use Sick Time, we have to prove why it is necessary to use it, by providing medical documentation to our supervisors and to HR, and we have to use up our Personal Time first before reverting to using Sick Time hours.
    There are rules, and things vary from company to company. But expecting people to provide a medical document every time they are sick--do you go to the doctor every time you vomit? I don't. I only go to the doctor if I get sick and it doesn't go away in 1-2 week's time.

    People abuse sick time everywhere, probably even at your company. Someone could have a crooked doctor who writes notes for anyone who comes in, sick or not.

  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    I'm a supervisor on my better days, and I have to say that the problem with sick leave is that people abuse it. Either they aren't that sick, or not sick at all--and they ruin it for everyone else who is honest.

    I once had an employee tell me that she "thought" she had a headache and had to go home. I'm not kidding.

    For myself--I only call in sick if I have a fever. If I have a cold, I can usually just tough it out. I usually only take 1 sick day a year, if that.
    I think it also depends on the workplace. I have found that generally those who are happier in their work take less sick leave. Those who aren't take more.
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  18. #78

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    When I worked for a very large company years ago, there was a strict policy about missed work time, specifically aimed at non-management employees.

    If an employee was sick or otherwise missed work within the first 6 months of employment, that employee was subject to dismissal. After 6 months, dismissal was still a threat, if the illness meant repeated absences.

    I can remember a female employee who was frequently ill. She made it through the first six months, but then kept getting sicker and sicker. She was threatened with dismissal, but she couldn't return to work. She was subjected to daily calls not only from her supervisor, but also from Personnel. Eventually she died---from cystic fibrosis. That was particularly embarrassing to the Medical department at the company, which routinely gave physical exams to all new employees, who declared this girl fit.

    Another woman (who'd been with the company more than a year) was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had to have surgery followed by radiation treatments which caused her to miss work on a regular basis. Again, her supervisor, manager and Personnel subjected her to harassment calls and threats.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    There are rules, and things vary from company to company. But expecting people to provide a medical document every time they are sick--do you go to the doctor every time you vomit? I don't. I only go to the doctor if I get sick and it doesn't go away in 1-2 week's time.
    OK, to use your example... if I was throwing up, I would call in for the day. Whether I use Personal or Vacation time is up to me, but I do get paid for the day, even though I am home. If I end up being out at least 3 days, I am expected to go to the MD and get checked out. BUT... I can only use Sick Time if the MD tells me I need to be home. If I decide to stay home of my own accord after that MD visit, I cannot use my Sick Time, I must use Personal or Vacation.

    It's not rocket science, and it does work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    There are rules, and things vary from company to company. But expecting people to provide a medical document every time they are sick--do you go to the doctor every time you vomit? I don't. I only go to the doctor if I get sick and it doesn't go away in 1-2 week's time.
    Especially with what Gazpacho noted about medical settings and the shaming of those who dare call in sick. No way, I ain't going to a doctor unless it's something I can't fix myself!

    I think workplace culture dictates what actually goes despite what an official policy is. You hire good people who enjoy doing good work and trust each other, I don't think you have to worry about sick leave abuse. Or a bunch of other things.

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