The essence of labor laws regarding sick days is to ensure that employees are able to take time off for their own or their family member’s medical needs without fear of losing their job or experiencing negative consequences at work. This can include both paid and unpaid leave, depending on the specific law and the employer’s policies.
Interestingly, Florida does not have a state law mandating that employers provide sick leave to employees. However, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires certain employers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain medical reasons, including the care of a family member with a serious health condition.
Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may require employers to provide reasonable accommodation, including leave for an employee’s own serious health condition.
Most Important Florida Labor Laws Regarding Sick Days
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires certain employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain medical reasons. These reasons include the birth or adoption of a child, the care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, or the recovery from a serious health condition of the employee.
In order to be eligible for leave under the FMLA, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the start of the leave. The employer must also have at least 50 employees working within a 75-mile radius.
During the leave, the employer is required to maintain the employee’s health insurance, and at the end of the leave, the employee is entitled to be restored to the same or an equivalent position. The employer is also prohibited from retaliating against an employee for taking leave under the FMLA.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The law applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments.
Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are usually done that would allow an individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Making the workplace accessible
- Allowing an employee to work from home
- Modifying work schedule
- Allowing an employee to take leave for medical treatment or recovery
The employer and the employee are required to engage in an interactive process to determine the appropriate accommodations. The employee must also provide medical documentation to support the need for accommodation.
It is important to note that the ADA does not require employers to provide accommodations that would cause an undue hardship, which is defined as an action that would be too difficult or too expensive to implement in relation to the size, resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
It is important to state that both laws aim to provide job protection and medical leave to employees while balancing the needs of the employer. These laws can also help to prevent discrimination against employees who need to take time off for medical reasons.