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Do Companies Owe Sick Pay?

Savvy Confessions: Is It Legal For My Employer to Deny Sick Pay?

This reader posted in our anonymous Savvy Confessions group, wondering if she should report her company to the labor board for denying her sick pay. Do you have any advice for her?

So I work for an airline and we have this policy that flight attendants can take unlimited sick days due to the nature of our environment. Well I, unlike a lot of other flight attendants, haven't taken advantage of this easy-to-screw-with system. I have been employed for six years and have only called in twice,  never been late or reported for anything. I pick up an extra 30 (flying) hours a month, and not once have I ever complained. BUT recently I was sick with a cold, had a cold sore, and was extremely exhausted . . . legitimately sick, so I decided to ask my team leaders if I would still in fact get my sick pay. "Ummm no," was the answer I received because apparently they only have to pay me for my base salary, not the extra hours I had picked up and unable to work. I can understand if I was doing this on a consecutive monthly basis but I haven't taken a sick day in years. So my question is, does anyone know if I should go to the labor board or is my company in the right by never owing me sick pay?

Pose your own anonymous questions or off-load your work confessions by posting in the Savvy Confessions group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

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Join The Conversation
clgp1953 clgp1953 5 years
In general, employers are obligated to pay you only for actual hours of work. In many states, if you work overtime, you will not be charged sick leave or vacation hours, and it will not compound into additional pay.
HelloAnia HelloAnia 5 years
Was there an employment contract you signed when you started this job? The employment contract should outline the benefits of your employment including the question above. Typically labor laws vary state to state so it would also depend on that. I personally work for an employer that offers no such benefits so I have to be sick on my buck :(
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