Should hourly employees get paid sick leave?

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Question: “I work for a small company and right now we give all of our employees, both salaried and hourly, five paid sick days per year.  The company is deciding if hourly employees should continue to get this benefit.  These hourly employees work a full 40-hour week.  What do other companies do?” — Nancy Shortino

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All of our employees, both salaried and hourly, get the same time off benefits. Sick days, however, are not in a separate "bank." We have what we call "ETO" (earned time off) which includes vacation and sick time.

With our company, we accrue both vacation and sick leave. Vacation is accrued at .038 per hour worked. Sick leave is accrued at .019 per hour worked. This way both full time and part time can earn leave.

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anon June 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

I work in healthcare and our office and non-clinical staff gets the same treatment the 24×7 staff does. even though my office is closed on major holidays, this time gets deducted from our shared ETO vacay/sick bank, effectively we ‘pay ourselves back’. This helps HR to discourage employees from calling out sick and abusing the policy. Truth be told though, by the time you deduct all the days we’re closed, and factor in sick/snow days, etc. you could wind up with only 5-7 paid ‘vacation’ days to take at your leisure. Great for them, not so great for the employees. Everyone comes into work sick so they won’t use up their ETO. This is a very common model in healthcare these days.

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Lin December 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

I work for a small company and we get “ETO” time which has to be used for sick time and vacation. We only earn 7.7% of actual worked hours. So with this you have to start saving hours almost a year before you plan to take off. I have been with this company for five years and I am the only employee who actually works 40 hours a week. If there are any holidays that cuts our ETO time because it has to be actual hours worked. Is this legal?

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