Articles Posted in Sick Leave

Short-term disability, long-term disability, and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are three types of legal protections for employees who need to take time off from work due to illness, injury, or the need to care for a family member. While these protections may seem similar, they each have unique features and eligibility requirements that employees should be aware of. In this article, we will explore the differences between short-term disability, long-term disability, and the FMLA.

 Short-Term Disability

 Short term disability (STD) is a type of insurance that provides income replacement to employees who are unable to work due to a non-work-related injury or illness. The duration of STD benefits varies by policy, but typically lasts between three and six months. STD benefits are designed to provide employees with a portion of their regular income while they recover from an injury or illness, allowing them to pay their bills and meet their financial obligations.

Earlier this month, Sheryl Sandberg announced her resignation from Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Inc. Her departure was a surprise to many people. Ms. Sandberg was the Chief Operating Officer of one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world. She was the primary reason why Facebook scaled from a company with $153 million in revenue and 500 employees in 2007 to its current size, with more than 77,000 employees.

This past week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ms. Sandberg decided to leave Meta after a years-long process of battling job burnout. She felt like she had become a punching bag for the company’s problems and that she was targeted in a way that would not happen to a man, according to the Journal. This caused Ms. Sandberg to become disconnected from the business and less visible publicly.

In a way, Ms. Sandberg’s departure shouldn’t have been surprising. The writing was on the wall. Job burnout is real and it’s becoming more prevalent. It can happen to anyone at any level, like Ms. Sandberg, who earned $35.2 million in 2021 and has a net worth of $1.6 billion.

COVID-19 has dictated much of our daily activities over the last 20 months. It seems that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon neither is the vaccine mandate. Yesterday, President Biden’s administration fulfilled its promise that it would take more aggressive steps in getting more Americans vaccinated. The administration announced additional vaccine mandates affecting more than 100 million workers. In this article, I will explain what this mandate means for employees.

Coverage

The purpose of the COVID-19 mandate is to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. This mandate does not apply to every company; instead, this mandate applies to private companies with 100 or more employees, healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid, and federal contractors. If you work at one of these entities or you are a federal contractor, this mandate applies to you. However, private companies with fewer than 100 employees may still mandate the vaccine as a condition of employment. One clear distinction of this mandate is that it does not apply to employees of a covered company who work exclusively outdoors, or from home.

The weather is getting colder and nationally, the United States is experiencing a new spike in COVID-19 cases. The country is trying to jump multiple hurdles all at the same time and one of them happens to be dealing with the new increase in people contracting the virus. Thankfully, the legislation that dealt with the first wave of the virus is still here to help supply leave due to sickness. The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” or FFCRA provides relief to anyone who falls ill because of COVID-19 between now and December 31, 2020 when the Act expires. This short window of application may be extended or replaced by further legislation, but whether that will occur before the deadline passes is unclear. However, it is still worthwhile to examine what mechanisms are in place to deal with sick leave currently. One mechanism that Congress added as part of the FFCRA is the “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” or EPSLA. EPSLA gives paid sick leave to certain employees if they fall ill or are caring for someone who falls ill from COVID-19. To determine whether EPSLA covers you, we have to ask 4 main questions: 1) Are you an employee who EPSLA covers; 2) Is your employer required to give you paid sick leave under EPSLA; 3) How much leave can you take and what does that leave look like; and 4) What are your options if you think your employer is violating EPSLA. Each question will be addressed in turn.

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Earned Paid Sick Leave

In 2019, the City of Dallas joined our other Texas cities when it passed the Earned Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. This ordinance requires employers to provide up to 64 hours of paid sick leave. While courts have restricted the enforcement of similar ordinances around the state, beginning April 1, 2020, the City of Dallas will begin enforcing this ordinance to ensure that employers are providing paid sick leave to employees. It is our hope that courts do not eventually restrict the City of Dallas from enforcing this ordinance to protect employees.

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