Question: A few of my employees have shown up for work sick. I appreciate their dedication, but I’d rather they not come to work when ill. Can I send them home and require that they use their sick leave?
Answer: Yes, you can. Recognize that there may be reasons why employees are showing up sick that might include:
∙ Not wanting to use sick or paid-time-off leave
∙ Not being able to afford the lost wages due to illness
∙ Fear that the workload will become overwhelming if work is missed
∙ Fear of disappointing the boss
If you do send them home, reassure them that you want them to take the time to recover and that you will help to ensure their work gets done. Remind them that sick leave is offered so that they will stay home when they are sick. And if they are worried about lost wages, try to identify ways for them to make up the time once they return to health.
Consider allowing them to work from home temporarily if that is an option given their job duties and other operational considerations such as security, access to needed information, etc.
Remember, some states and cities require employees receive paid sick time and that some sick time, even if unpaid, is protected time off.
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