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tinyfaery's avatar

A few questions about sick days?

Asked by tinyfaery (42778points) January 20th, 2011

My wife and I get into this discussion all the time. I say paid sick days are part of her employee benefits and if she doesn’t use them she is basically throwing money away; they are gone at the end of the year and do not accumulate. She says they are there “in case” something happens; therefore, she should do everything she can not to use them.

It’s not like I tell her to take a fun day, it’s just that she does get sick and exhausted and she is always so fearful to take a day off, as if she will get in trouble.

What do ya’ll think? Is a sick day a benefit or a safety net? How do you use your sick days?

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20 Answers

missingbite's avatar

Simple, if you are sick stay home. If you are not, go to work.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Trouble yes, most companies count sick day for reason for dismissal. Some companies let you accumulate sick days for future illness.

mrlaconic's avatar

It depends on the company. A lot of companies USED to give sick time AND vacation time but now its common just to get X amount of days to use however you want. In that case then yes if she isn’t using them it is money being thrown away. However if she still has seperate sick time from vacation then no it’s not and you need to be careful because they may verify that you are actually “sick”

Seaofclouds's avatar

Sick days are a double edge sword to me. Yes, they are there so you can use them when you are sick, but many employers don’t really want you to use them and may even give you a hard time if you do.

I can understand wanting to save them in case something major happens (like an illness/injury that puts you in the hospital and makes it impossible for you to get to work).

For me, if I’m sick and concerned that I may be contagious, I won’t go to work. If my employer gets mad, I’ll deal with their anger. Luckily, the doctor’s office I work at now would much rather us call out than get everyone else in the office sick. If I don’t think I’m contagious, I’ll go in and attempt to work for the day. Worst case scenario, I go home early because I can’t manage to work through the whole day.

tinyfaery's avatar

My wife is a teacher. They are sick days because she always (and I mean always) gets vacation.

mrrich724's avatar

Sick days are called ‘SICK’ days for a reason. If you are sick, you use it. If you are not sick, you don’t use it.

If you just feel like taking a day off, you take a vacation day.

partyparty's avatar

I agree with what ^^^^^^ said… totally !!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Paid sick days are a benefit. The benefit being you get paid if you have to take time off work because you are sick.

gondwanalon's avatar

Workers who use their sick leave without being sick are abusers of a system designed to help them. Also they force their coworkers to work harder to make up for their absence.

Sick leave isn’t there so that workers can stay up late and or go to parties parties can take the next day off because they feel tired, have a hangover or they feel sorry for themselves.

I personally think that if you are sick enough not to go to work then you should see a doctor about your problem like visit to an Urgent Care Clinic.

I have only used sick days on 4 occasions in over 15 years and each time I was seen by a medical doctor and twice I was admitted into a hospital.

Abuse of sick time has been such a huge problem where I work that the policy was changed so that our paid sick time off doesn’t begin until after the third sick day in a row. This has proved to work very well in stopping people from abusing this benefit.

glenjamin's avatar

My wife saves up her sick days because she doesn’t get a paid maternity leave (she has to use her sick days in lieu of that). Her days do roll over from year to year though, so it is good to save them. She takes the occasional sick day if the weather is really bad, or she is in fact sick.

For my job I get personal days, which can be used as sick days of just general time off, so I luck out in that sense. That said, I’ve taken maybe less than 1 “sick day” a year, and that’s only if I’m in really bad shape. If I am a little under the weather I have the ability to work from home, which I use frequently.

john65pennington's avatar

In your case, the only answer to your question can be located in her benefits booklet of her employment. if not there, ask HResources for your answer.

All employments, especially government, have different rules and regulations, pertaining to sick days.

tinyfaery's avatar

Sick is not the same for all people. Those with mental illness might need a day off, but not be sick.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends on the company. If the days are separate, vacation and sick, then sick is there if you need it, but not to be used just because they are offered. I worked for a company that allowed one sick absence a month, or up to 12 days a year, and if someone called in sick one day a month every month, they were viewed as abusing the system, and sucky employees. This almost never happened. Those people usually did not last long. Now, if someone took a sick day or two during the year, for a mental health day lets say, no one would be too upset, but other people relied on you being there, because we were coverage on a retail floor, so people rarely fake called in sick out of loyalty and consideration to their fellow work colleagues.

Some jobs combine sick and vacation, and those total days would be expected to be used.

JLeslie's avatar

I just saw the post you wrote just before mine. When I say mental health day, I do not mean really mentally ill, I mean a day to relax.

Truly mentally ill, I would count as sick.

iamthemob's avatar

Sick days are really only an additional benefit, I would argue, if they can be cashed out. Not taking vacation is one’s option…but they have a right to it. There is a right to sick days also.

However, if you leave your job (depending on the state) you may receive unused vacation day pay in the form of a lump sum. Not so with sick days.

Therefore, no one is really throwing anything away by not using them. Sick days are essentially a productivity guard. No one really wants someone at work who is interrupting efficiency. Sick days are a statement by the company that shit happens – we won’t make you come in when it happens to your body for a certain period of time, and you won’t have to worry about reduced income during that time. Win-win.

Cruiser's avatar

IMO it really depends on the employment agreement. Some companies establish a set amount of sick days as an employee benefit as part of their compensation package and companies like our “allows” for x amount of sick days for legitimate sicknesses only. It is a policy that will result in termination if it is abused and or used as additional days off.

Cupcake's avatar

I fully support the use of mental health days. If you are not using vacation and are not infectiously ill… you should try to use them when you won’t put your coworkers out too much (not applicable to all jobs).

Seelix's avatar

Some places (the school where my sister works, for example) give a set amount of sick days as well as a couple of “mental health” days. I think that’s awesome.

I’ve only worked one job where I had sick days – it was when I was taking a break from school and was working full-time at a bookstore. I used them only when I needed them, i.e. when I was actually sick. I see them as a benefit.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Sick days are for days when you are contagious and will make others ill, you are running a fever, throwing up, are generally so achy that you can’t move, or have fallen and broken or sprained something. The intention of sick days is to give you paid time off when you are not able to come into work. It is not a “use or lose” benefit. If you were to exceed your sick days, you would have to use vacation time or take unpaid time off.

boffin's avatar

…if she doesn’t use them she is basically throwing money away…

I have close to 2000 hours of accumulated sick time. 2000 hours is equal 1 year of time in service. So I can retire, say with twenty four years in and get credit for 25. Not a bad return on a very small investment.
If I could get out of bed, shower and dress. I could go to work. After twenty plus years in, that free year looks better every day. I’m close enough now that my ‘new’ mantra is ” two years or one really bad day!”

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