Can I be denied the use of paid sick time-off?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be denied the use of paid sick time-off?

I put in my notice of resignation for 03/01and was sick and did not work on 02/28 and 02/29. I had accrued a

little over 6 hours of Sick PTO and wanted to apply it to one of those days but was told I couldn’t because it

was my final paycheck?

Asked on February 28, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it is in your final paycheck, then you have no right to also use it: you can't be double paid for those days (e.g. get paid for not working and get it in your final check as compenstion for unused PTO time).
Also, there is not 100% right to use sick leave: an employer may deny it if there is legitimate reason or suspicion that the employee is NOT sick, since sick leave is not like vacation: you can't use it for any purpose at all, but can only use it when sick or you need to visit a doctor. Trying to use sick leave the last two days of employment is highly suspicious: the employer would also likely be justified in denying those days on the grounds you were not sick, but simply did not want to come in.

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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