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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    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.
    Okay, if we are using your rules, I would never get to use my sick time. I've been at the same employer for almost 11 years, and I think I've only had one illness that would be considered highly contagious (the flu.)

  2. #82
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    Karina1974 has explained the way that her company views Sick Time - it's really not "sick" time, it's "major illness" time. Given the very generous amount of vacation/personal time she also accrues and the very generous carryover policy, I'd say that people in her company have no problem getting time off for their illnesses, and it seems far less punitive than most companies who make employees use a general PTO pool for what most employers would consider sick time - they just use a different pool of paid time.

    That said, I find her employer's definition of sick time unusual and wonder how widespread that way of categorization is.
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  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post

    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.
    What about FMLA? (Family Medical Leave Act) Where I work, (county library system), someone can apply to go onto FMLA for either a chronic illness that they're suffering from or if they're taking care of a direct family member (mom/dad). That way, their job is protected. Staff can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA per calendar year.
    "Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him."

  4. #84

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    Isn't FMLA unpaid, though? That's not too great if you don't have a lot of savings.

    I think it's so true about happy employees not using sick time. The worse abuser at my school hated teaching, hated kids, hated pretty much everything. She called in over 40 times in one school year, used up all her sick leave and started dipping into the sick leave bank. She was fired at the end of the year.

    A colleague I greatly respect is unhappy about a lot of things going on at the school, and has started getting "sick" more often. It's starting to piss me off. I need to get sick.

  5. #85
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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.
    I would go to the doctor more often when I get sick if my copay wasn't $40. I'm far from a hypochondriac, and I think the high cost is unfair. Why can't they scale copays - $10 the first visit, $20 the second, and so on?

  6. #86

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    But an employment situation is very different from an academic, lab situation. Whether you get sick leave or vacation or whatever is completely dependent on the lab professor you work for. Luckily for Anita, her PI is very lenient.

    Personally, for Anita's case, I think the reason why that person did not take stay at home was simply stress and work pressure. Cells don't stop dividing and mice don't stop breeding just because you're sick. And when you're not working and staying home, people both 2 floors up from you and halfway around the globe are busy thinking and working on the same ideas and experiments you are doing. If you don't work, you won't publish. And if you don't publish, you won't graduate.

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    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.

    This would be completely illegal in the UK and the company would find itself on the end of an enormous law suit.

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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    Okay, if we are using your rules, I would never get to use my sick time. I've been at the same employer for almost 11 years, and I think I've only had one illness that would be considered highly contagious (the flu.)
    Quite possibly. If you worked for my employer, you would have to use up all Personal Time (and we never have more than 40 hours-worth) before starting to use your Sick Leave, and it is HR's discretion whether or not the flu would be considered serious enough to allow the use of Sick Leave or if you would have to dip into your accrued Vacation Time. For the flu, most likely you would be allowed, but they would require a doctor's note.

    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve
    Karina1974 has explained the way that her company views Sick Time - it's really not "sick" time, it's "major illness" time.
    Exactly. Also, we don't have a PTO pool like some places; each employee accrues their own time, and we don't "trade off" with other employees. IOW, that 485 hours I have accrued is mine. We don't need a pool, though, because I have co-workers who have 250-300 hours of Vacation Time accrued, that's why they have capped us at 200.

    OK - here's my employer's official policy on long Term Sick Leave. I'm copying this straight from the employee handbook, dated July 1997. I've bolded the parts most pertinent to the discussion.

    It is the company policy that Personal leave should be used for doctor's appointments, minor illnesses, etc.

    Long term sick leave is designated to try to assist the employee who suffers a major long term illness such as a heart attack, major surgery, major family illness, etc.

    Employees who are absent because of sickness must charge this absence to their Personal leave first. When Personal leave has been exhausted, the employee may charge absence for sickness against accumulated Long Term Sick Leave. The company may at its discretion request a doctor's certificate as proof of sickness before allowing charges against accumulated Long Term Sick Leave.

    Long Term Sick Leave may only be used in increments of 1 full day, except in cases where a doctor has prescribed routine treatments and a letter from the doctor has been provided to the personnel department.

    Each employee is granted 1 week of Long Term Sick Leave for each year (s)he has been employed by the company. Long Term Sick Leave will be credited to an employee on his/her first anniversary date and each anniversary date thereafter except it shall not accumulate beyond a maximum of 12 weeks.

    Upon termination or resignation employees will not be compensated for unsued sick leave credits.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 02-17-2011 at 03:31 PM.

  9. #89
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    I suspect that your employer does not want the handbook quoted word for word on an internet forum. I realize that it seems a bit anonymous, but still.

    I know my previous employer did not want the PTO calculations "out there". Not that people couldn't find what it was because of course bennies are known within the area, but not so much on a national or international basis. And PTO/sick leave/vacation/whatever calculations vary around regions.

  10. #90

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    I can't wrap my head around harassing someone on chemo treatment. ITA with antmanb that would lead to a lawsuit (or should be)

    My dad is knocked on his butt when he gets his chemo. He can't eat, he can't sleep, he is nauseous etc etc. He can barely get out of bed some days.
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  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I suspect that your employer does not want the handbook quoted word for word on an internet forum. I realize that it seems a bit anonymous, but still.
    The nice thing about where I work is that they don't give a shit about things that would have most other places spazzing (our IT person has better things to do than to snoop around on peoples' server log-ons to see if we are getting online, for example). And it's not like I'm badmouthing my employer either; actually, what I am saying about them makes them look head and shoulders over other companies whose time off policies are more draconian.

    I can't wrap my head around harassing someone on chemo treatment.
    I can't either, and that would be unheard of where I work. We're like one huge (slightly) disfunctional family. When someone has a death in their family, you can count on the president and several managers/co-workers showing up at the wake.

  12. #92

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    It just makes me sad that we are so product driven that our general health has to be sacrificed. Studies show if the mental and emotional health of employees are addressed by employers, the productivity of the business goes up. You beat them...they will break.

    I frequently take days off without pay. I need it for my sanity and to address issues with my one son/ or dad. If I didn't I would be burned out. Luckily, my husband makes a real good income that I can afford one shift off a pay period.
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  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    I can't wrap my head around harassing someone on chemo treatment. ITA with antmanb that would lead to a lawsuit (or should be)

    My dad is knocked on his butt when he gets his chemo. He can't eat, he can't sleep, he is nauseous etc etc. He can barely get out of bed some days.
    I know! That's horrible, and definitely a case where a big fat lawsuit is entirely warranted!

    Quote Originally Posted by altai_rose View Post
    But an employment situation is very different from an academic, lab situation. Whether you get sick leave or vacation or whatever is completely dependent on the lab professor you work for. Luckily for Anita, her PI is very lenient.

    Personally, for Anita's case, I think the reason why that person did not take stay at home was simply stress and work pressure. Cells don't stop dividing and mice don't stop breeding just because you're sick. And when you're not working and staying home, people both 2 floors up from you and halfway around the globe are busy thinking and working on the same ideas and experiments you are doing. If you don't work, you won't publish. And if you don't publish, you won't graduate.
    Frankly if the grad student wanted to be as high-achieving as you say, she wouldn't have had two kids. Not to mention she's already missing a lot of lab time because she's only first year - most grad students here don't get settled into their lab until second year (kids or no kids) just because of the coursework.

    Plus we're a VERY small lab, and my boss tries to work on experiments that nobody else is working on because he doesn't like direct competition.

    That one week where she insisted on coming in while dangerously sick, she did one experiment. It was a multi-day experiment, but it was still only one and she could have easily delayed it because of the stuff I already pointed out.

    Yes, competition and the urge to get ahead convinces some people to endanger their health and the health of others (she had PNEUMONIA for Christ's sake, diagnosed by a doctor and everything, and she refused to take antibiotics because she's still breastfeeding), but in some cases I don't think it's worth it. It's certainly worth considering, but doesn't mean I can't disapprove of their choice.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Not to mention she's already missing a lot of lab time because she's only first year
    Well, there's your reason for why she came in... she probably felt like she couldn't afford to not come in given the other time she missed.

    That one week where she insisted on coming in while dangerously sick, she did one experiment. It was a multi-day experiment, but it was still only one and she could have easily delayed it because of the stuff I already pointed out.
    Yes, but I'm sure when she came in, she thought it would go differently. I'm not saying what she did was smart but I do find it understandable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    This would be completely illegal in the UK and the company would find itself on the end of an enormous law suit.
    There are a lot of cases where employers do illegal or arguably illegal things. But they don't care because they know the chances of being sued are negligible. What are the chances of an employee with few resources taking on a company's legal department?

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Yes, competition and the urge to get ahead convinces some people to endanger their health and the health of others (she had PNEUMONIA for Christ's sake, diagnosed by a doctor and everything, and she refused to take antibiotics because she's still breastfeeding)
    I've worked while having pneumonia before, diagnosed by a doctor and everything. While I haven't felt well, I haven't felt like I just couldn't get out of bed, either; the biggest problem is the cough, which may or may not be painful, and I feel tired. I usually don't run a fever; if I do, it's never high.

    I have never given pneumonia to anyone, at least not that I know of. My own family doesn't catch it, my students don't catch it, none of my friends catch it--I don't know who else I would give it to, but my understanding is that it's not that easy to catch. You pretty much have to have a suppressed immune system to get it; most people get pneumonia after they've had some other respiratory infection.

    There's pneumonia and there's pneumonia. Most of it won't kill you or even make you all that sick. If you've got the kind that WILL kill you, you don't get up and go running around with it.
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  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    It just makes me sad that we are so product driven that our general health has to be sacrificed. Studies show if the mental and emotional health of employees are addressed by employers, the productivity of the business goes up. You beat them...they will break.
    I agree with you, but unfortunately, there are some people that totally abuse the system. If someone is genuinely sick or takes a "mental health day" every now and then, I have no problem with it. But I worked with one guy that it seemed like he called in sick all the freaking time. He used up his sick days, his personal days, and his vacation days and still called out. He was asked if he had some serious underlying problem that no one knew about (everyone was really concerned) and his response was no, he just didn't want to come in.

    I can't say we were too sad when he quit.

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