Are your sick days paid?
"Achooooo" - Everyone with the flu. Photo credit: iStock.

With this dumpster fire of a flu season now finally coming to an end, as you peak back on the wreckage that was once your life you’ve probably noticed that all of your sick days have been used up for the year. This begs the question … are your sick days paid?

 

In the great state of New York, people can accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours they work up to a grand total of forty hours each year. This time off is given to employees in order for them to get over illnesses or to take care of family members on the mend. Employees can access their sick days once they have been on the job for eighty hours.

 

This is good news for anyone who felt the unrelenting wrath of this year’s flu epidemic, as there is nothing worse than having to skip work because you are ACTUALLY sick. What I’m trying to say is, it’s nice to know the checks will still be coming in while you’re fighting off the plague.

 

But what about people living elsewhere? Are sick days paid in other states across the country?

 

The short answer is: some states have better paid sick day policies than others. While most states have adopted similar policies to New York, others have passed legislation in order to make it harder for employees to use their hours in the ways that would best suit them. This is why Arizona recently passed protections in order to make it harder for workplaces to not allow employees to roll over their accrued sick time into each new year.

Which for many, is an extremely good thing. Think about it this way … can you imagine if you got the flu last month and only had four hours of sick time to use? We all know that sitting next to relentlessly hacking co-workers is precisely how illnesses spread and with winter being prime-time flu season, it only makes sense to give people their sick days paid around that time of year.   

On the other side of the seesaw, some states like Nevada and Hawaii are a little less sympathetic to their employees’ health issues. Much similar to rules laid out in the Affordable Care Act, these stubborn states will only force businesses with fifty or more employees to offer paid sick days. Their argument is that it is simply too expensive to pay for your time off when your constitution is too weak to withstand a winter breeze.

“Just take your vitamins and get to work on time, you slacker!” your boss will scream at you as your blazing red-hot fever forces you to see double.

If you are unsure if your sick days are paid at work, make sure to check in with your state’s Department of Labor office to see what protections are being enforced. If you feel like your job is violating your worker’s rights, many states also give you the option to file a complaint form online.