Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sick With Flu? Workers Have Few Rights

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I did an interview with WUSA 9 last night on employee rights when you get the flu. Here is a bit more detail on your rights if you are an immediate family member gets sick with the flu:

  • FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT. If you and your employer are covered you have the right to up to 12 weeks of protected leave if your illness qualifies as a "serious health condition." A serious health condition is one the incapacitates you for more than three consecutive days and requires one treatment by a health care provider (i.e., an in-person visit within 7 days of the first day of incapacity) with a continuing regimen of treatment (e.g., prescription medication, physical therapy). You may also be entitled to protected leave is you caring for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a "serious health condition."

  • MARYLAND FLEXIBLE LEAVE ACT If you and your employer are covered you have the right to use accrued sick or vacation leave for yourself if you are sick or to care for a child, spouse, and parent.

The above laws provide protected leave, i.e., your employer cannot retaliate against you or fire you for taking protected leave. Whether you and your employer qualify under the above laws can be a tricky issue and varies by jurisidiction.