Are there rules regarding how quickly employers pay?
Throughout 2018 I accrued about 40 hours of sick pay. I submitted 13 hours (across multiple Dr. visits) in a timely manner and had to request payments multiple times during the months of September through December. The employer finally paid me on January 4, 2019. In February, I had a week long sickness, due to death in the family. When I turned in the hours, I was told I was only eligible for 27 hours. Their reasoning is that they had already paid out 13 hours this year, so I only have 27 of the 40 hour yearly cap left. Is that right? Can they use hours accrued and submitted in one year against the next year, simply because they stalled out on payment? What is my recourse?
In general, employers must pay wages and benefits in the pay period they’re earned. However, sick pay is not a federally mandated benefit (yet). Several states do require paid sick leave and I’ll attach an article below to share which ones do. If your employer offers paid sick leave when it’s not required by the state, the terms much be spelled out in a policy or within your employee handbook — that’s the policy they must abide by. However, your point is well taken and you may need to go to the business owner or HR manager to protest that the sick leave is due in the pay period it is taken … therefore it would have reduced your available sick leave balance last year, not this year. Of course, it’s possible that your employer accrues and pays sick leave on a fiscal, not calendar year … If you have an HR department, I would certainly suggest you go to them to request they adjust your balances accordingly.