An HR Team’s Guide to Paid Sick Leave

Poor health is bad for your employees’ productivity. What’s more, sick employees risk spreading the disease around, putting more of your employees at risk. They need some time off to recover, and they could do with some compensation to ease the financial burden. So, how should you go about granting your employees paid sick leave? Here is a brief guide on how HR teams can develop and implement policies regulating paid sick leave.

Indiana Sick Leave Law

The federal and state governments have rigid laws against working while sick, and Indiana’s sick leave law is clear. The state law does not require employers to provide employees on sick leave with any benefits. However, it still mandates that employees should be granted sick leave for a range of reasons. Some of these reasons include:

  • The employee is too ill to come to work.
  • The employee has a sick close relative that they have to cater to.
  • The employee has an immediate family member on active military duty and needs their support (this is a qualifying exigency that qualifies the employee for emergency paid sick leave).

The law requires that the employee prove that they are sick (or someone close to them needs them) by getting a doctor’s confirmation. However, some companies have policies that allow employees to take sick leave at their discretion.

Will Emergency Paid Sick Leave Under FFCRA Return in 2021?

Paid sick leave law has recently come under the spotlight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, lawmakers established the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to help employees impacted by the virus.

However, that mandate has since expired, and complying with the act is now a voluntary option. Authorities are exploring a way forward on this mandate, and it may be enacted again if the pandemic is not contained soon.

However, other laws protecting sick leave are still in force, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These laws protect the employee’s job for the duration of their sick leave. They also determine when and how much employees should be paid for the duration.

For example, federal law states that an employee on sick leave should be paid per hour for at least every 30-40 hours worked. Additionally, the law also puts a limit on the number of hours that an employee should spend on sick leave. To this end, an employer can fire an employee who takes more than 90 days of sick leave.

Company Policy on Paid Sick Leave

It is important to consider state and federal laws when developing the company’s policy on paid sick leave. However, you can customize your policy however you like.

For example, it is recommendable to demand proof justifying a paid sick leave. It is also recommendable to decide compensation based on the employee’s position and experience with the company.

It is advisable to make your policy regarding paid sick leave both fair and stern. It should be stern to deter employees who want to take paid sick leave when they don’t really deserve it. It should also be fair to guarantee your employees’ health and wellness – your employees need to be healthy to remain productive, after all.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to take good care of your employees to keep them productive. This entails giving them some time off to rest when they fall sick – and perhaps offering some compensation to keep them motivated. As such, reference state and federal sick leave law and clearly spell out the company’s policy to ensure that only employees who deserve paid sick leave get it. Please contact us today to see how we can help.


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