Is It Legal to Require Proof for Sick Days?
All over the country, cities and states are passing mandatory sick day laws. These laws are constantly changing, and now, in order to continue following the law while also doing what’s best for the business, companies should re-examine and evaluate their sick day policies and procedures. So what exactly should businesses do? Let us take a look at what the law says to make things a bit more clear.
Lack of Federal Law
Even though many cities and some states have passed these types of laws, there is no federal law of this nature. If an employee calls in sick, you are not obligated to give that individual a paid sick day, according to federal law. There is also no federal law that prohibits the employer from asking for proof that the employee is sick when he or she calls in sick. The law can vary by state, depending on if the state or local government has passed a law, but there is no federal law of this nature. Since some cities and states have passed laws like this, you will need to examine what the law says in your area to ensure that you are compliant. In some areas, you may be required to give paid sick leave and cannot deny the request based on lack of proof. You will want to be careful of the law in your area to ensure you are not doing anything illegal.
FMLA Leave Is Covered by Federal Law
While the federal law does not state anything about sick leave and providing proof, it does require that proof be submitted if an employee wants to qualify for extended unpaid sick leave if an employer requests it. This is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Employees have 15 days after the leave to provide proof. You must comply with this request by law.
Since the law varies, find out what is legal and illegal in your area. Once you know the specific laws, you can create a policy within your company that is compassionate and compliant. As long as you are consistent and you are following the law, you should be safe from litigation. You should also be sure to post the policy and notify your employees of how the process works within your company.