What To Expect From the Federal Sick Time Law
Despite the threat of communicable diseases spreading—especially during the pandemic—many employers still refuse to compensate their employees for taking time off due to illness. Although the pandemic has put emergency paid sick leave plans in motion, many employers still refuse to provide such opportunities.
Are you protected by law if you fall sick at work? Can your employer deduct your pay or fire you for taking time off? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the federal sick time law.
What Is the Federal Law on Sick Days for Private Sector Employees?
The United States federal law does not make it mandatory for private companies and employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. This means an employer can legally force you to work while sick and deduct pay as they see fit. Any paid leave allocated to an employee for medical and health care reasons is completely at the discretion of the employer and their internal rules.
Every year, numerous private-sector employees refuse to apply for sick leave despite being ill because they:
- Are afraid they will lose their job
- Can’t afford to lose a day’s worth of wages
- Don’t want to get in their employers’ bad books
Since there is no federal law on sick leave, the method of requesting such leave also varies based on the company. Some companies allow their employees to call in sick, whereas others may ask for emails or other documentation.
Federal Sick Pay Law for Federal Employees
All federal employees are entitled to paid sick leave with no cap on how many days of leave can be accrued in a year. They may use this leave to:
- Attend to personal medical needs
- Take care of a seriously ill family member
- Cope with the death of a spouse or a family member
- Attend to adoption-related matters
While you can have an unlimited number of sick days, there’s a limit on how many days you can use for certain purposes:
|Reason||Number of Days You Can Take Off per Year|
|Personal medical needs||Unlimited|
|Taking care of a family member||13–60 days|
Sick Leave Laws by State
While sick leave laws are the same for federal employees across the U.S., the laws for the private sector differ by state. Some states mandate a minimum number of paid sick days for employees, while others leave it entirely to the employer to decide.
Take a look at what the laws are in some of the states:
Use DoNotPay To Submit Your Sick Leave Request Faster and Easier
If you’re unsure about how to apply for sick leave, what you are entitled to, and what your state’s laws are, you can use DoNotPay as a one-stop solution. All you have to do is:
- and locate the Request Sick Leave feature
- Type in your state so we can give you information about relevant laws
- Tell us a bit about yourself, your company, and the number of days you would like to request off
- Sign electronically and click Submit
We will generate a custom request letter on your behalf if you’re entitled to sick leave. You can even email it directly from the app!
Not Getting the Sick Leave You Are Entitled To? Sue Your Employer in Small Claims Court!
Are you entitled to paid leave, but your request is denied? Sue your employer in small claims court with ! Here’s what we can do for you:
- Gather all necessary paperwork and information
- Draft an airtight demand letter
- Complete all court forms
- File the lawsuit
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