Employee Paid Time Off Donation Program

Let’s discuss a situation that’s somewhat common among employers.  You have an employee, Sharon, who has used all of her allowed paid time off (vacation, personal, sick, etc.) for the year. Sharon’s mother falls ill with a serious medical condition and Sharon needs to take additional time off work to help care for her mother, but she doesn’t have any paid time off available. Sharon’s coworker, Kim, has a lot of accrued paid time off with no vacation plans so she asks you if she can donate some of her available paid time off balance to Sharon to be able to use during her absence so that Sharon doesn’t have to take unpaid time off work to care for her mother. Can you allow Kim to donate her paid time off to Sharon?

You can. But it’s not that simple.

Continue reading

San Francisco: Updated Paid Sick Leave Effective January 1, 2017

San Francisco is ugolden-gate-bridge-388917_1920pdating their paid sick leave law, first enacted in 2007. The new changes will go into effect on January 1, 2017. Prior to January 1, 2017, employers should continue to follow the existing paid sick leave ordinance (click here to read the original ordinance). As a brief overview, the current law requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees, including part time and temporary employees, who work in San Francisco. This leave can be used for an employee’s illness, injury or to receive medical treatment or to assist a family member or other designated person who is ill, injured or receiving medical treatment.

Employees in San Francisco currently begin accruing sick leave after 90 days of employment and can accrue up to 72 hours of paid sick leave. Employers with less than ten employees (including full time, part time and temporary employees), have a reduced maximum accrual of 40 hours of paid sick leave. Continue reading

Vacation Pay: Optional or Mandatory?

1428638_61478545An employee leaves without giving any advance notice.  Are you required to compensate that employee for unused vacation and personal time?

You are not required under any federal or state laws to offer vacation or personal time off benefits, with or without pay. (Note: Some cities and states do require paid sick leave). But if you offer vacation time with pay, sick leave with pay and/or paid time off (PTO), you need to be aware of possible regulations in your state regarding compensation.

Continue reading

Paid Time Off Sharing: Make Policy Fair

vbsd0147_ntsc

Question: Several times in the past we’ve allowed employee “A” to donate unused sick leave to employee “B” who needs help. Now again an employee has requested permission to donate sick time.  We don’t have a written policy on this.  We don’t have a problem allowing this but think it’s time we make some decisions and put our policy in writing.  Can you give us some guidance?

Specifically, should an employee in need have exhausted all of his or her time before receiving time from someone else?  Should we put a limit on the number of days that can be given to an employee? If a high paid employee donates to a lower paid employee, how is the donated time valued?

Continue reading

Does Your Sick Leave Policy Need a Checkup?

doctor-563428_1280You’ve probably seen the employee with a pile of tissues on the desk, sweating profusely and responding, “I’m fine” when people ask about his or her health.  Then there’s the person who routinely arrives late or leaves early and frequently takes unscheduled days off.

Although federal law does not require payment for time not worked — such as sick days, vacations and holidays — most employers recognize the importance of paid leave programs for employee health and performance.  Effective leave policies also help companies retain top people.  But are your leave policies effective?

Unscheduled employee absenteeism costs some organizations a bundle every year.  Employers generally tolerate the occasional “sick day” that employees take for non-health-related reasons.  Yet they may suffer from sick leave abuse, where employees repeatedly violate the company’s attendance policy — and that translates into lost dollars.

Other employers suffer from the opposite problem.

Continue reading

Paid Vacation: Is it Optional or Required?

1064586_50115630An employer asks:  “One of my employees left without giving any advance notice.  Do I have to compensate the employee for unused vacation and personal time?”

You are not required under any federal or state laws to offer vacation or personal time off benefits, with or without pay.  But if you offer vacation time with pay, sick leave with pay, and/or paid time off (PTO), you need to be aware of possible regulations in your state regarding compensation.

Continue reading

California Employers Required to Provide Paid Sick Leave

bridge-622840_1280California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” on September 10, 2014.

This law requires all California employers to provide at least three paid days of sick leave to their employees each year.  This law does not include an exemption for small employers.

Continue reading