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Upon separation, must employees be compensated for any unused sick leave?

The Act does not require earned sick leave to be paid out upon an employee’s separation. However, unused PTO that has been accrued or earned may be payable upon separation according to an employer’s particular PTO policy, any applicable CBA, or as otherwise required by law. Employees who do receive a payout of all unused leave upon separation will be deemed to have used that leave. Those employees will not be eligible to have leave restored if they return to the company within 12 months.  

Can employers require that employees provide notice for non-emergency use of earned sick leave?

When the need to use earned sick leave is foreseeable, the employee should make a reasonable effort to provide advance oral or written notice to the employer. (“Foreseeable” means an employee is aware of the need to use earned sick leave seven or more days before such use.) These employees should also make a reasonable effort to schedule leave in a way that will not disrupt the employer’s operations. But if the need to use earned sick leave is not foreseeable, the employee is only required to notify the employer as soon as practicable.

How can employers ensure that employees using earned sick leave are doing so for a valid reason under the Act, and not a fraudulent one?

If an employer denies an employee’s request to use earned sick leave and the employee files a complaint with the Division, the employer will have an opportunity to provide the Division with evidence that the employee was not entitled to use the leave. If the Division finds that the employee was wrongfully denied, the employer could be liable for improperly denied leave pay, damages, and interest. If the Division determines that the employee was not entitled to use earned sick leave, the employer will not be liable.

Is earned sick leave a “benefit earned” that must be reported on employee paystubs?

Yes. And employers must report additional details of this benefit (such as year-to-date accrual and usage) in writing to employees at least once every calendar quarter if that information is not included on the paystubs. And employers must report additional details of this benefit (such as year-to-date accrual and usage) in writing to employees at least once every calendar quarter if that information is not included on the paystubs. And employers must report additional details of this benefit (such as year-to-date accrual and usage) in writing to employees at least once every calendar quarter if that information is not included on the paystubs.

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