Ask The Expert: Sick Day Policies
According to our handbook, we provide all employees with their 5 sick days under New York State law on January 1 of each year. I thought it was only required to provide 5 sick days annually and since we already give this upon hire and every calendar year thereafter there shouldn’t be a need to accrue or carryover. Am I right?
I know this can get confusing and sometimes the guidelines may not always be clear on all aspects. However, New York law states that all unused sick days must be carried over.
Unless you limit that employees cannot use more than 5 days a year, they are entitled to using their carryover time as well. Some companies will put a cap of 5 days for incidental sick time-off, however, save the carryover for major illnesses where the employee can use up their annual 5 days and then use the carryover time. This can be especially nice when a company doesn’t provide full salary for short-term-disability absences such as major surgery or childbirth.
Things to also consider – it is permissible to allow them to accrue the time during the calendar and not allot all at the beginning of the year, especially since they don’t accrue sick leave time if they happen to be out on sick leave during any calendar year – it would all depend on how you want your policy to work and also how it works with.
Remember, if you have 100+ employees you need to provide them with 56 hours or 7 days (for an 8-hour workday) of sick time leave.