Do I need to pay sick pay to my employer, if I am leaving because of abuse?

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Do I need to pay sick pay to my employer, if I am leaving because of abuse?

I work at a non-profit school where both my daughter and son are students. Last night I found out that my daughter is being sexually molested by a student, 3 years older than her, in the bathroom. The bathrooms are unsupervised and the director has stated that she doesn’t see this as an issue. I would like to quit. Do I owe 3 weeks of sick leave from this winter. If I quit today and never go back, to protect my daughter, am I obligated to pay sick days? What do I need to do to ensure this doesn’t continue with other children?

Asked on April 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you took paid time off (PTO), including sick leave, which you had not yet earned or accrued, if you quit or resign, you owe the employer the monetary value of the time--regardless of why you leave. Using time you have not yet earned is like a loan: while it is normally paid back over time, by working and earning it, if you leave before doing so, you have to pay it back some other way.
That doesn't mean that you can't sue the parents/legal guardians of the student who molested your daughter, and also file a police report and look to press charges (though they will be likely handled in family, not criminal court, if the attacker is still a minor). It also doesn't mean that you can't sue the school, for failing to properly supervise students. It doesn't mean that you can't, in addition to reporting this to the police, also report it to the state and/or city agency licensing schools like this. You and your daughter have legal recourse. 
It's just that your obligation about the use of time are separate from the school's obligations to protect students; the one does not cancel out the other.


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