Although an unprecedented number of people have been working from home for the past several months, many workers still go to work each day, and given recent health concerns, now is an important time to consider when it’s appropriate to call out sick. So when should you call out sick? That’s a question many employees wrestle with for a variety of reasons. Some employees tend to push through sickness and show up for work anyway. Others call out sick when they’re not actually sick. Still others may wish they could call out sick but fear that their job might be in jeopardy if they do. In this post, we’ll talk about Georgia sick leave policies and some diagnostic questions to help you analyze the best course of action for you and your family when you’re not feeling your best.
The first thing to note is that, unlike many states, Georgia law doesn’t require employers to grant sick leave to employees. Many employers still choose to offer sick leave time as part of a benefits package. If an employer opts to include sick days within a compensation package, however, Georgia has some regulatory statutes that establish parameters for how that time can be accessed by employees without fear of job consequences. The federal government also has some applicable regulations.
Georgia law stipulates that companies with more than 25 employees must allow full-time workers to use as many as 5 sick leave days a year to care for seriously ill immediate family members. At the federal level, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees of companies larger than 50 to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in order to care for seriously ill immediate family members. The FMLA extends leave time and job protection for employees caring for family members injured in military service.
If your company provides sick time as part of your compensation, here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide whether or not to call in:
- Is it contagious?
- Will how I am feeling lower my usual productivity?
- Do I need to go to the doctor to get this checked out?
- Will going to work exacerbate my condition?
You may also want to consult your company policy handbook for guidelines on the best way to request your sick leave.
If you have further questions about your rights and state or federal guidelines surrounding sick leave, please contact our office to discuss your situation and receive compassionate professional counsel.