How to Get Paid Sick Leave the Easy Way

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A Guide to Getting Paid Sick Leave Without Hassle

Roughly a third of all Americans—around 33 million people—can’t go on paid sick leave. If they can’t come to work sick, they have to either use paid time off or say goodbye to their salary.

Many employees don’t know their rights and aren’t familiar with sick leave rules, which is why they feel forced to work when sick.

This article will explain how paid sick leave works and what laws protect your interests. We’ll also show you how you can call in sick with ease if you .

Paid Sick Leave—Acts and Laws

According to federal law, the employer has no permanent obligations toward the employee when it comes to paid sick leave. The only federal-level rule is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides employees with 12 weeks of sick leave, unfortunately unpaid.

The only way you can secure a paid sick leave legally is through:

  1. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
  2. State- and county-level laws

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

While the EPSLA is a federal-level act that enforces paid sick leave, it’s a temporary rule that will go away with the COVID-19 pandemic. The EPSLA defines money limitations, duration, and eligibility criteria, as shown in the table below:

Sick Leave DurationEligibility CriteriaMaximum Salary Covered
Ten workdays (two weeks)
  • Symptoms of or similar to the COVID-19
  • Ordered or advised quarantine
  • Care for a child in quarantine
$511 per day
Ten weeksCare for a child whose school or another place of care closed down due to the pandemicThe lower amount between:
  • Two-thirds of the salary
  • $2,000

State- and County-Level Laws

Unlike the federal government, there are states and counties which have laws about mandatory paid sick leave.

Sadly, only 15 states and the District of Columbia have such laws or intent to enact them. Outside of those 16, you’ll have to rely on your local government and see if your county requires your sick leave to be paid.

Check out the following table to find articles about different paid sick leave state laws:

CaliforniaArizonaPennsylvaniaNorth Carolina
MichiganFloridaVirginiaNew York
WashingtonColoradoVermontRhode Island
New JerseyDistrict of ColumbiaOhioGeorgia

If you don’t have COVID-19 or don’t live in one of the states above, the only way you can get paid leave is if your company’s policy mandates it.

Is There an Easier Way to Request Sick Leave?

When requesting sick leave, you should be aware of your rights and your employer’s obligations. If you plan to send an email request, you should include a state law or contract term that grants you paid leave.

How should you write your request, and where can you find these laws? You can do the research yourself, or you can let DoNotPay do it all for you! Our app will consult any applicable laws or acts and draft a professional request letter that is bound to be approved.

All you need to do is , navigate to the Request Sick Leave feature, and:

  1. Insert the state the company is located in
  2. Answer a couple of questions about the company
  3. Enter the dates on which you’ll be absent from work
  4. Choose whether you want us to:
    1. Send the request to your employer directly
    2. Share it with you so you can email it on your own

If there’s a law in place but your employer still denies you your paid sick leave, you’ll have a strong case to send demand letters to them. Our Small Claims Court product will guide you through the entire process by helping you with:

  • Drafting a demand letter
  • Filling out court forms
  • Gathering necessary documents
  • Filing the complaint
  • Creating an argumentative script to use during proceedings

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