They told my girlfriend she has to be sick

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They told my girlfriend she has to be sick

My girlfriend recently got tennis elbow and is in excruciating pain when not working. She works at a brewery part time and the doctor told her to take 2 weeks off. Her boss gave her a week off no pay. And I asked her if she had any paid sick time and she said yes. She has three days sick pay. I’m not sure how it works with PT jobs but my girlfriend says that everyone signed something a long time ago and part of it said they only got 3 days sick pay it sounds ridiculous but okay. The thing is, when she asked her boss a/k/a the owner’s wife if she could use her sick time she was told that she has to actually be sick. Is it okay for her to be denied her sick pay in this manner? Is her boss crossing a legal boundary?

Asked on December 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no inherent right to have sick time; employers are not required to provide sick leave and, if they do, they can decide how much to give employees--so 3 days would be legal.
2) Similarly, employers can set the rules for sick time--including when employees may use it, for what purposes, with what notice, etc. So IF this was the policy, the employer can restrict her use--but if it wasn't an actual policy and/or if other employees have used sick time for similar reasons, the employer cannot arbitrarily restrict your girlfriend's use of the sick leave this time. She has to be able to use it the same way other employees can--but they don't have to let her do more with it than they let other employees do with their sick leave.


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