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Accruing sick leave during workers’ comp leave

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Office Management,Payroll Management

Q. One of our employees is out on workers’ comp. Our contract says “no sick time will be lost or deducted” while employees are out on workers’ comp. But now he wants to know if he continues to accrue sick time and holiday pay while not working. Does he? —J.S., Michigan

A. In the absence of a policy, employment agreement or collective-bargaining agreement to the contrary, employees are not entitled to continue to accrue paid time off (such as sick time and holiday time) while on workers’ compensation leave.

The collective-bargaining agreement language quoted in your question is ambiguous. The phrase “no sick time will be lost or deducted” is subject to multiple meanings. If a labor arbitrator was faced with your case, he or she would likely look to your company’s past practice for guidance. We suggest that you do the same.

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