Can my employer change the timeframe of when I can use my sick time?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer change the timeframe of when I can use my sick time?

I have completed my 90 day probation period and was out due to a medical issue. I brought in my doctor’s note when I returned to work. I asked if I could use my sick time but was told that I could not until after 1 year or

employment. They told me it’s in their policy. Is that legal?

Asked on July 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it was in their policy before you needed the sick time, it's legal: employers may set the rules about sick time: who gets it; how much do they get; when are you eligible for it; etc. But if that was not part of the existing policy, they cannot retroactively change it; your request for sick time is governed by the rules in place when you requested it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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