Can my employer fire me for using, or prevent me from using, my accrued sick time?

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Can my employer fire me for using, or prevent me from using, my accrued sick time?

I’m experiencing mental health issues and need to take time off to address. I have 180 hours of sick leave accrued (have taken no sick days in years). When would short term disability apply?

Asked on December 16, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Many employers do not give validity to mental health concerns like they would to physical health concerns.  That is an unfortunate thing.  It is my understanding that in general short term disability in Virginia has a 7 day waiting period, meaning that you have to be out of work for 7 days before you can apply.  But your employer 's disability plan may differ from the norm and you should look in to that.  You should also look in to FMLA - Family Medical Leave Act - if your employer qualifies and you need to take additional time unpaid.  You may have to take the 180 accrued days before disability kicks in.  Check with the Virginia Department of Insurance and your HR department.  Good luck to you.


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