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Replies for Sick Leave (PTO)
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Human Resources
Joined: July 2018
Posts: 1
Posted: July 11, 2018 1:35 PM

As a new supervisor I am seeking mentorship on how to address a staff member needing paid sick time off for a serious diagnosis after squandering all of her sick leave for petty personal issues. I know there are simple answers on opposite ends of the spectrum (i.e. no hours/no pay or allow all the advanced sick time off she needs) but I'm seeking a reasonable and responsible resolution without compromising workplace morale or standards.

First Time Manager or Supervisor
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Posted: July 12, 2018 2:34 PM

RE: Sick Leave (PTO)
Hi jake0628, thanks for your question.

It’s a complex issue because on one hand you need to honor policy, and on the other, you want to have an environment where people are respected in times of need.

First step is to forget about the fact that she may have squandered sick leave for petty issues. It doesn’t matter what she used it for, I’m sure at the time she probably didn’t realize she’d need it for something serious.

Now looking forward, you have an employee that needs time to get healthy; you also have rules in place that impact others in the organization.

Not knowing the details of the situation, the requested length of time, or the type of role this employee has in the organization, I would ask the following questions.

1) Can some vacation days or sick days from 2019 be used in advance this year?
2) Can the employee limit PTO days by working from home during her recovery? And if so, can specific expectations be set for that workload?

That’s where I’d start. The goal being to find a solution, not to just approve PTO, but a solution that works for the employee and organization. The fact that it is a serious diagnosis, a plan can be put in place without impacting precedent. In the end it could be a combination of pulling forward days from 2019, some unpaid days, and easing back to work from home.

Hopefully that gives you a bit of direction. If you have further questions, please let me know.

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