Are There Any Federal or State Sick Days at Work Rules? Find Out NOW

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Sick Days at Work Rules You Should Know About

Many assume that you can request sick leave whenever you feel under the weather and unable to perform, but that is not always the case. There’s no federal law that requires employers to give you paid sick leave, while only 15 states (including the District of Columbia) have some rules in place on a state level.

What happens when you need to take sick leave? Will you have to work if you’re not in one of the 15 states? In this article, we’ll explain sick days at work rules, and we’ll show you:

  1. Which states have paid sick leave laws
  2. What the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is
  3. How to call in sick effortlessly if you

Sick Days at Work—Rules on State Levels

Although only 15 states have state-level laws (or plan to adopt them), several other states, such as Texas, have counties that regulate paid sick leave with local rules. You should check out what the rules are in both your state and county.

Consult the following table to find articles with information about states that regulate this on any level:

CaliforniaArizonaPennsylvaniaNorth Carolina
MichiganFloridaVirginiaNew York
WashingtonColoradoVermontRhode Island
New JerseyDistrict of ColumbiaOhioGeorgia

Sick leave laws typically define the following:

  • What the accrual period is
  • How many paid sick days you get per year
  • Which employees can receive paid sick leave
  • What reasons are valid for leave request approval

If you’re not in one of these states or counties, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to turn up sick to work.

Companies have an individual sick policy at work, and you should check out what the conditions are. Most employers will provide you with either unpaid or sick leave—if you have no sick days left, they’ll demand you take your paid time off.

Aside from company sick days, you can also rely on the FMLA if it applies to your place of work.

The FMLA—Federal Law Sick Days

The FMLA is a federal-level act that ensures all eligible employees receive an unpaid leave of 12 weeks within a 12-month period without any detriment to their job position.

To be subject to the FMLA, both you and the company must fulfill some requirements, as shown in the table below:

Qualifying ReasonsEligibility Criteria for EmployeesEligibility Criteria for the Company
  • Childbirth
  • Child adoption
  • Serious health condition
  • Caregiving to a family member with a serious health condition
  • Reasons connected to a family member being on active military duty
  • Have worked for the company for a minimum of 12 months
  • Have at least 1,250 hours of work over the past 12 months
Employ at least 50 people within 75 miles of the office location

This is an unpaid sick leave—the only way you can get paid leave on a federal level is through the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The act is in place during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers help to employees who contract the virus.

Need a Sick Leave? Request Time Off With DoNotPay in No Time

You can avoid contacting your HR department or sending an email request you’re not sure will be approved. With DoNotPay’s help, you can create a rock-solid sick leave request, and you won’t have to worry about any of the writing.

Our Request Sick Leave tool will draft the letter for you based on the information you provide. You only need to and:

  1. Insert the state the company is in, and we’ll show you what sick leave laws are in place (if any)
  2. Answer a few questions about the company
  3. Enter the dates on which you’ll be absent from work
  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to:
    1. Send the request to your employer directly
    2. Share it with you so you can email it on your own

If the employer decides to deny your rights, you can use DoNotPay’s Small Claims Court product and sue them without paying over the top for an attorney.

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