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Sick Leave & the Law

No Federal, State or local law requires your employer to pay you if you take a day off because you're sick or need to care for a family member due to a short-term illness.

However, if the illness or other health-related concern (such as pregnancy) requires an extended time away from work, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may apply. All public agencies, including state and Federal employers, and private employers with more than 50 employees, are required to provide FMLA-protected leave.

So, what are your options if you just have the flu or a nasty cold?

• Consult your human resources policy. If your employer does allow you to take paid sick days, it should be spelled out in the HR manual. The manual should also detail how many sick hours you accrue per pay period or hours worked.
• Check out the Utah laws related to labor, particularly Title 34 and 34A.
• The Utah Labor Commission provides information for both employers and employees about State labor laws.
• The U.S. Department of Labor has information about the Federal laws pertaining to workers, particularly the FMLA and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Special thanks to Margo Bird, Human Resources Representative, for her editorial advice.

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