When my husband I decided to start a business, we didn't think about the legal aspects of doing so. We didn't realize that purchasing business insurance, getting building permits and making investments all required some type of legal advice. But after speaking to a close friend, who also happens to own a small business, we contacted a business attorney. Now, we have the legal smarts to make the best decisions for our business, as well as the legal representation in case something happens to our company. I hope that you find my blog helpful and informative for your own business. It's a great resource for finding the legal advice, resources and guidance you need to get your company up and running.
Medical leave is required by law for people who are ill and under employ with your company. Here are some things to know.
You're Required to Know the Policies
The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees a certain amount of unpaid time off if they or a close family member experiences a severe illness. Note that you, as the employer, are obligated to make employees aware of this allowance should you have reason to believe they need it. Thus, get acquainted with labor and employment law by contacting a law firm like Vandeventer Black LLP in your area to learn about this.
Worker's Compensation Is Different
This policy is in addition to the worker's compensation coverage that you are required to carry. Sometimes the lines can be blurred. For example, if a worker contracts an illness due to bad working conditions, they may be classified as needing worker's compensation instead of FMLA leave. So, talk to a labor and employment law specialist to find out how to proceed. If someone needs worker's compensation, they are going to receive some paid leave and coverage for their medical bills on top of the time off.
Employees Can Still Choose to Use PTO
Employees may use some of their unused paid time off to cover their long leave of absence. Taking extended time off for an illness without receiving any pay is tough for employees, so they might mix the two.
Denying Leave Can Get You in Trouble
If you deny leave or don't make employees aware that they are eligible for it, the employee may choose to sue. They can also choose to sue if you pressure them not to take the leave when they are eligible for it. In these cases, if an employee becomes litigious, consult a labor and employment law firm. They can handle these tricky situations that arise between employees and employers. Often, unless something egregious happened, your employee does not want to harm the company. They don't want to damage their reputation or yours. They simply want to be given what's owed to them. A lawyer will help you de-escalate conflicts with a sick employee so that both people can get something reasonable out of the case and no one is harmed beyond reason. In short, the laws surrounding illness leave are a bit complicated, but they are worth knowing in and out so that you can avoid any major legal issues for your business.