Employees are the key to any business’s success, so when an employee comes to you and reveals that they are struggling with an illness and need sick leave, you need to react quickly and clearly to keep your business afloat.
Here are the steps every business owner should follow when an employee requests sick leave.
Know The Law
Although the federal government does not have any regulations guaranteeing paid sick leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 does declare that business owners who have more than 50 employees on staff must offer unpaid sick leave to individuals who have been with the company for longer than 12 months.
Additionally, many state and municipal governments have gone their own way and passed laws guaranteeing paid sick leave for employees, including Connecticut, Oregon, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Arizona, and several others.
If an employee comes to you and requests sick leave, check with your local and state government to find out what duties are required of you and what paperwork you and your staff may need to fill out.
Respect Their Privacy
Employers need to know that it is against HIPAA rules to demand medical information from their employees or their doctors. Doctor’s notes need only say that the employee is not well enough for work.
What employers can ask individuals about is the prognosis and when they can potentially return to work. This gives you a proper timeline to coordinate with the rest of your staff while allowing your employees to maintain their dignity and privacy.
Look For Replacements
Losing a staff member can be a difficult change, especially when you may not know when they will return or have several projects that they are a part of.
Temporary workers are a great resource for business owners because they are hired for short-term employment and do not require any of the health benefits or coverage that your staff is typically entitled to.
HR laws exist to protect employees from medical discrimination, but these rules can seem like a labyrinth to employers who just want to keep their businesses running. Give our rehabilitation compliance experts a call today at (713) 899-9812 or visit us online to see how our services can keep your employees happy and healthy.