Do I have any recourse for being denied sick leave pay from a school district as a substitute teacher?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have any recourse for being denied sick leave pay from a school district as a substitute teacher?

A school district I work for is denying me sick leave since I have not worked
there this school year. They give three days up front. I was told by a
principal that since I had not worked a day in the district this school year
that she would not sign the form. The school district also said I was inactive
due to my credential expiring. However, I have job confirmation emails and a
previous email exchange with HR notifying them of my credential renewal. They
responded to the email and said that information would be forwarded to the
appropriate person.

The next day i was called by another school district I sub for and asked about
the situation in the other school district that I was trying to get sick leave
from. I told him the story. He said he would be terminating my contract since
the situation gave him pause and he wondered if I would be a positive influence
in the classroom. He said he was happy I told him the truth since now he would
consider allowing me to return once the situation is resolved. He said if I has
refused to answer the question I would not been able to return.

Do I have any recourse? Are school districts allowed to conspire to take away
the source from which I derived half my paltry 20k income from?

Asked on January 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sick leave is not vacation days; it is designed to let you avoid coming to work sick (and so potentially infecting others; and also recover more quickly than if working while sick), without losing income. If you don't work, there is no need for sick leave; sick leave is, again, so that you can miss a day you would otherwise have worked without missing pay. If you did not work, you would not be entitled to sick leave; you don't get sick pay for staying home days you were not scheduled to work anyway. So if you have not worked at the district this school year, it would be appropriate for them to deny you sick leave.

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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