The Down-low on Sick Time and its Impact on Your Company

September 26, 2016

In the age of Internet enlightenment, the world is literally at your fingertips. YouTube tutorials can teach you anything from how to change a lightbulb to how to write intricate code. And while a simple Google search will alert you to the population of Turkmenistan (5.24 million as of 2013, in case you’re wondering), it’s surprisingly difficult to find straight-forward information about a common workplace issue: sick time. The topic is undoubtedly convoluted, making it essential that modern companies use 21st century solutions.

Unlike other workplace commonalities, sick days are surprisingly unregulated by the federal government. In fact, only five states in the country have paid sick time laws and an astonishing 40 percent of the American workforce—that’s 41 million people—are not entitled to any sick days at all. Sick day policies vary not only from state to state, but from city to city—and even company to company.

In Oregon, for example, employers with more than 10 staff members are obligated to provide one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, but no more than 40 hours total. Oregon employees can use this time to recover from an illness, but it can also be used to care for a sick spouse, child, or parent.

While all Oregon companies are required to abide by this law, businesses based in Portland, the state’s most-populous city, are held to even more rigorous and complicated standards depending on the company’s size, number of employees, and more. Three hours north of Portland is Seattle, where you’ll encounter even more detailed laws protecting not only employees feeling under the weather, but also those suffering from domestic violence or even stalking.

One exception to these laws—or lack thereof—is The Family and Medical Leave Act. Since its inception in 1993, employers nationwide must provide qualified employees with up to 12 weeks of leave for specific medical and family reasons, such as personal or family illness, pregnancy, adoption, and family military leave.

Though the topic is most certainly puzzling, things are changing, and sick leave has become a hotly debated topic in today’s political scene. Two years ago, California passed the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014, guaranteeing adequate sick time to employees. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has even promised to revise and improve sick time regulations if she wins the 2016 campaign.

While there’s no arguing the benefit of sick time laws for employees, the varied regulations make it difficult to manage employees in different locations. Matters become even more muddled considering the nearly three million US jobs outsourced to international locations. While the issue is tackled state by state, companies—particularly those with remote or international employees—must find ways to manage sick time appropriately and, more importantly, legally.

That’s where Asure Software comes in. Asure’s advanced human capital management products offer easy-to-use services that make managing individual cases simple, no matter how complicated regional laws may be. The SaaS-based mobile solutions even allow employees to manage their own time, all while tracking trends and providing real-time reports. Simply put, Asure takes the management out of human capital management so you can forget about the confusing details and get on with what matters most—building your company.

Sources:

http://www.abetterbalance.org/web/images/stories/Documents/sickdays/factsheet/PSDchart.pdf
http://www.paidsickdays.org/?referrer=https://www.google.com/
http://www.oregon.gov/boli/WHD/OST/pages/index.aspx
https://www.workplacefairness.org/paid-sick-leave#Seattle
https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/general_guidance.htm
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/ab1522.html
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/paid-leave/

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