Sick Leave Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Sick Leave, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Sick Leave?

A sick employees paid time off.

History and Meaning of Sick Leave

Sick leave is a type of paid time off for employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury. The concept of sick leave has been around for centuries, with employers granting employees time off when they were unable to work due to illness or injury. In the United States, the first laws requiring employers to provide sick leave were passed in the early 20th century, and today many employers are required to provide some form of sick leave to their employees.

Sick leave can be granted for a variety of reasons, including illness, injury, or a medical condition that requires treatment or recovery time. Many employers offer separate sick leave and vacation time, allowing employees to take time off for both personal and health-related reasons.

Examples of Sick Leave

  1. An employee calls their supervisor to let them know they will be taking sick leave due to a bad case of the flu.
  2. A workplace policy outlines that employees are entitled to 10 days of sick leave per calendar year.
  3. An employee requests to use their sick leave for a scheduled medical procedure.
  4. An employer grants an employee additional sick leave as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.
  5. A collective bargaining agreement between a union and an employer outlines sick leave benefits for union members.

Legal Terms Similar to Sick Leave

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for specific family and medical reasons, including serious health conditions.
  2. Short-term Disability (STD): A type of insurance that provides income replacement for employees who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury.
  3. Workers' Compensation: A type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job.