Employee absence policy

What's your employee absence policy?

Employees need time to recharge their batteries and recuperate from sickness or stress. To that end, many employers give their employees paid leave as part of their benefits package.

Employees need time to recharge their batteries and recuperate from sickness or stress. To that end, many employers give their employees paid leave as part of their benefits package. Paid leave comes in the form of:

  • Disability leave
  • Holidays
  • Personal days
  • PTO (paid time off)
  • Sick leave
  • Vacation

Conversely, certain employment laws require select employers to grant employees job-protected leave. These laws include:

  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Jury duty
  • Maternity leave and/or paternity leave
  • Military leave
  • Workers' compensation laws

Sick leave and state leave laws

Click here to visit the U.S. Department of Labor's wage and hour division webpage.

Sick leave - Although San Francisco is the only city to have passed legislation requiring mandatory sick leave, several states are discussing similar legislation. One benefit paid sick leave provides employers is that employees are less likely to come to work when they are sick.

State leave laws - Many states have their own medical, pregnancy, childbirth and military leave laws that may give employees more leave or apply to smaller or different employers than federal employment laws. Employers should also check their state laws regarding possible mandatory leave for activities such as voting, donating an organ, and attending parent-teacher conferences.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA establishes standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping and youth employment. These affect employees in the private sector and in Federal, State and local governments.

Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtime pay is required after 40 hours of work in a single workweek and is set at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. Click here to visit the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) webpage.

Helpful leave of absence resources

Our research team located a few "leave of absence" templates you and your staff may find of interest. They are:

Executive summary

Establishing a leave of absence policy should be discussed with an HR professional, as laws vary from state to state. Why should you have a written policy at your organization? Simple: To provide your staff with your policy for a paid or unpaid leave of absence when justified by compelling personal circumstances.

For more information about employee absence policy, contact Carrie Cox via email, or Cindy McSwain using her information below.

Cindy McSwain

Senior Vice President
Outsourcing Services

Cindy McSwain leads AGH’s outsourcing services group. Her team provides payroll, accounting, funds disbursement, controller, and other financial outsourcing services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. Prior to joining the outsourcing group, Cindy served AGH’s audit clients for 10 years, working with a wide range of middle-market, closely held and family-owned organizations.

Her current clients cross many industry sectors, including manufacturing and distribution, restaurants, retailers, medical and not-for-profit. She has participated in numerous SEC filings and public registrations and has experience in mergers and acquisitions. Cindy is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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