Can a company take accured Sick time away

My husband had over 200 hours sick time in state of KY at his job. The company was sold – starting the new year, they told him he would lose all his sick time and not be paid out for his accruals and no sick time for anyone going forward with benefits. I find it difficult that he accrued all that over 25 years and they just take it away without paying him out. Is that legal

Asked on April 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The critical issue is how was the company sold. 
1) If the company had been an LLC or a corporation and the actual LLC or corporation was purchased, then your husband should still have his sick leave and could take legal action, if necessary, to preserve it. In this case, he is still working for the same legal entity, and that entity may not deprive him of leave which he worked for and earned without either giving him the abiity to use it or payig it for him.
2) But if the company was not an LLC or corporation, or it was, the LLC or corporation was not purchased, but rather, the buyer only purchased the "assets" (which includes thinks like the name, the intellectual property, the "good will," inventory, equipment, accounts receivable, etc.) then your husband is not workning for the same entity: he's actually working for a new employer/company which simply happens to have the assets of the old one. In this case, the new entity is not required to honor the sick leave granted by the old company (just as any new employer is not obligated to honor leave from an old employer), and your husband would lose his accumulated leave.


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