Sick and personal leave

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Updated: 4/11/2007 11:26 am
One of the most well-known benefits that employers often offer to their employees is sick and personal leave. Sick leave, or taking time off due to an illness or injury, can be very valuable like other time-off benefits, especially when combined with certain disability insurance benefits. However, most businesses that offer a sick leave plan establish a limit on the amount of time for which you can be compensated. For example, the number of sick days you're allowed can be based upon the length of your service or be based on a fixed, predetermined amount, such as ten days each calendar year. Though paid sick leave benefits aren't required by law, you may be legally entitled to unpaid sick leave under federal or state family and medical leave laws. Another time-off benefit that employers can offer is personal leave. Personal leave is generally offered to employees to cover situations that aren't included in sick leave, bereavement, or other time-off policies. Some examples include personal time off for house closings or car breakdowns. Personal time is generally treated differently from vacation or sick leave time in that it's usually only offered a few days each year and doesn't increase with years of service. Oftentimes, it's given on a 'use-it-or-lose-it' basis, meaning you can't accrue and carry over personal time to the next year. By law, sick and personal leave must both be given equally, fairly, and consistently among all employees. It's recommended that you check your employee handbook for specific rules regarding these benefits.
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