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An interesting dilemma?

Tourmeister

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Howdy,

Was cruising another forum and came across the topic of sick days. The question is what do you think of using them as days off when you are not sick? In this particular case, it was to go riding. Opinions?

Adios,
 
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You should be allowed to call in well.

I actually have a boss that supports this :dude: , just not all the time, natch. :bigokay:
 

Tourmeister

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But you have not addressed the issue. Do you think it is okay to call in sick when you are in fact not sick?

Adios,
 
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As a confirmed job jumper (7 jobs in the last 10 years -- jumped for bigger and better things), here is my twisted view of the world of employment.

I've worked for a company that it was encouraged to work long hours (pretty normal), but if you weren't there for at least 8 hours in a given day, then you had to take vacation time -- 12 hours on Monday + 7 hours on Tuesday = 1 hour of vacation.

I worked for a company that we were forced to take vacation the week between Christmas and New Years because "so many people are out that it will be unproductive to open" -- that was a small software shop (I didn't stay long)

If you feel stressed enough to take a day to ride to get your self back to normal, relaxed, etc. on occassion (insert common sense here) then I think it's OK and is good for both you and your employer.

Of course if your company has a very explicit policy regarding sick time, then let your concious be your guide :shame: (I'd still call in sick and ride)
 
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I don't recall ever calling in sick when I wasn't. Then again, I haven't ever been in a position to do that. The army doesn't go for that sort of thing and neither does school. :doh: Now that I'm employed, I may use that in the future. Well have to see. ;-)
 
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Too complex to answer with a yes or no. It amazes me how often an employer keeps close count of time off, but provides no compensation for excess work. In this case, sick days should become a form of compensation. The civil service contract take into both issues.
 
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I say it is ok. You've earned that as a benefit of your job. When you leave, some places don't compensate you for all or part of your sick time.

I usually either am sick or sick of coming in (mental health day) so I'm not lying.
 

h2000fb

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That is exactly why I don't give sick days at my company. Now we just give "earned days off." You apply them to vacation, sick days, wellness days, or whatever you want call them. You give sick days and too many people lie. Originally I had no sick days, but just forgave those absences and paid them. Nothing formal, just trying to be nice. However, you guessed the problem with that. My generousity and good nature was taken advantage of, so that stopped.

It is amazing how "sick" days have decreased under the new policy. uhmmm.....
 
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No..it is wrong. If you're sick, you're sick....if you aren't sick, then you are lying to your boss....and in my line of work that can get you fired most quick quick.

In fact I knew an officer who was fired just for that. He called in sick to go to a party. A supervisor asked him about it, he said he was home sick and put it in a memo....now he has lied on paper. He was fired in about a week.

Now an issue I will have to deal with in 15 years or so is accrued sick leave. There is no limit to sick leave accrual so I can build up thousands of hours but the kicker is I only get paid for 720 hours when I retire so I could end up giving a couple of thousands of hours back to the city....but that's a bridge I will have to cross when I get to it.
 

KenH

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Fort Worth provides 5 "sick days" per year. When I'm sick of school, I take a couple sick days. That has happened 3 times over the past 7 years. When I fill out the paperwork, I do write "sick of school" in the appropriate blank. I missed 5 days after driving through a brown tornado, but that was after spending a night on the floor with convulsions and fever so bad I couldn't use the phone to call for help. I have also given several of my sick days to a fund for those with long-term medical absences.

Texas provides 5 "personal days" per year. I have yet to take a personal day. All told, of the 80 days I have earned while teaching in Texas, I still have 62 left.

Why should I work every day when people who miss 10 days per year make the same money I do? Teachers do not get paid vacation and holidays, either.
 

Texas T

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Now an issue I will have to deal with in 15 years or so is accrued sick leave. There is no limit to sick leave accrual so I can build up thousands of hours but the kicker is I only get paid for 720 hours when I retire so I could end up giving a couple of thousands of hours back to the city....but that's a bridge I will have to cross when I get to it.
That will resolve itself; as you get older the body will tend to break down more often and you'll be glad you accrued those extra hours because they will come in handy.
 
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I'm not a big fan of the idea (though I have made an early morning recovery or two in my day after calling in sick), but have seen them treated various ways at different jobs. My hospital days, you got a quarter of accumulated sick time as additional severence pay. My current job, you are alloted 5 sick days for family care days.

I expect no matter what you think, the equally important question is what your boss thinks, and how likely they would be to find out.
 
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But you have not addressed the issue. Do you think it is okay to call in sick when you are in fact not sick?

Adios,
NO. Unless it is specifically allowed by corporate policy it is NOT okay. Some organizations allow you to take off a certain number of days per year and don't care what the reason is. Most organizations still have a prescribed number of sick days in addition to a prescribed number of vacation days. You are hired with an understanding of what the employer expects and you should live up to your end of the bargain regardless of what you think of the policy later on. Besides that, what are you going to do if you've used up all your sick time, to do whatever, and then you really get sick and need more time off? I would recommend that anyone read the book "That's Why They Call it Work" if you haven't already. I would also suggest that if a person needs to take off another day every now and then, that they talk to their manager about occasionally working four 10-hour days during the week that they need to take another day off. Most managers won't mind if they think you are especially productive day-in and day-out.

David
 
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I generally would say no, it's not ok. Fortunately my employer gives us "PDO" or Paid Days Off, depending on how long you've worked for them determines how fast you can acrue these days, as a percentage of your worked hours (up to 40 a week :( ). So sick days and vacation is all one lump, you sick a lot, no paid vacation for you. Also, you can either roll over your accrued PDO or cash part or all of it out at the end of each year. At least my employer does something that seems the right way to do it, some other areas they just have me scratching my head.
:zen:
 
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A lot of corporations have done away with sick days. We now have "Personal days". You accrue them at different rates according to how many years you have been with the company. I believe the first two years is 6 days a year, and it goes up from there. These are in addition to vacation and you can use them as you please.
 
E

ericlw

personally.I have seen people fired over using too many sick days.yes they are sick days but they are not free to use as vacation.from what i see the more professional the job is the more they care about how many sick days you take.i have about 15 sick days saved up.no we are not paid for them when we leave.i would expect to be fired for using all my sick time every year.A LOT of employers do not like people taking a lot of sicktime.since texas is "at will" employer do this lieing at your own risk.

Also i once worked in the financial industry.it was a well known fact if you had a credit card through the credit union and the day you take off sick they look up where you bought stuff that day and audit your bank account at their own wants and they didnt have to tell you.
 
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my record speaks for itself. My current sick leave balance is 1352 hours. I have used 20 hours in the last year, after Jill has surgery on her shoulder. When I retire, all the sick time just goes away. I have many coworkers, with similiar sick leave totals, and some, with 20 years service, no major illness and NO sick leave saved up. I also have 650 hours of annual leave saved up also, so I have plenty of leave to take without calling a day off to a sick day. BUT, ! work 4 days at 10 hours a day, telecommute several days a week, and when we have travel money spend 8 weeks on the road in a row.

I look at it as an insurance policy...

Howard
 

kurt

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Not OK. We have people that use sick time when denied for vacation (all the vacation slots are full) or just don't feel like working today. We call this the "*screw* your buddy system". One person calls out and someone is going to fill that spot. Employee "X" got the day off that they wanted, but employee "Y" lost their day off to cover it.
 
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My company has a PTO setup, Paid Time Off. You can take off for any reason, you don't even have to give them a reason, the only catch is in my position, there has to be someone to cover the hours. Then any leftover is paid out in December.
 
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I'm in a PTO situation myself.

Although, in my opinion, "sick" days should be considered as part of an overall compensation package. If they do not roll over (and in most cases they do not) you should be able to use them. I think this is why many companies are going to a "personal" day or a straight Paid Time Off structure.

However, you need to use these unscheduled sick/personal days wisely. Don't screw your buddy by calling off at the last minute. I work sick when I have tasks that would impact my peers if I were not available to do them.
 
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It depends on your employers leave policy. If the policy states the leave is for being personally sick or caring for a sick family member, then that's what it's for. That would include being stressed out to the point where you can't safely perform you job. This varies greatly with the occupation. That being said, If you call in and say you are sick when you are not, that is by definition a lie and should not be acceptable. If your company policy views it as personal days then take off whenever you want but you still should not lie about the reason for being off work. Save you sick leave for the times when you need to recover from falling off your dirt bike. :rider:
 
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I think that if your company has a certain number of sick days specified, to use them for anything other than being ill is dishonest.

My current company has straight Paid Time Off to be used for either vacation or sick time, it makes no difference, it's just PTO. So, if one is sick often, they get less time off for vacation. Seems like a better system to me.
 
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I only use my sick time when I am sick. Like when I am sick of work.

Or when I am having vision trouble. Like those days that I just can't see myself being at work.
:rofl:
 
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I work sick when I have tasks that would impact my peers if I were not available to do them.
Now this I have a problem with. It used to burn me up when people would come in sick spreading it around for everyone else. I hate getting sick, and I especially hate getting sick because someone else drags their sick carcass into work and spreads it around. Now if one of my employees tries that, I send them home immediately.
 

scar04

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My dad is my boss, so I cant BS it. I usually dont use sick days, even when I am sick. when we're not busy, we ge a little more leeway, but in Tax season, vacations or the flu is a bad idea. Ive seen people abuse the sick day thing into the ground. Here, if you need a day, take a day. we work enough long hours and weekends to earn a hall pass once in a while. I have yet to do that, but Im sure after the returns are out, I'll take a mental health day.
 
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I'm a little surprised by the resonses on here. I guess we have some hard-core working people.

At my previous employer, I had hundreds of hours of sick time accumulated. I never took a sick day, I guess I just felt too bad about it. And when I left the company, do you know what I got for never taking a sick day? Absolutely nothing. All that loyalty and nothing to show kindof hurts.

At my current company, I get two weeks of vaction (10 days), 2 Personal Days, and 8 sick days on a rolling twelve-month calendar. All of the policies changed to this at the beginning of the year and we were told we MUST (no exceptions) take our two weeks at one time. I wanted to go to Barber for the Superbike races with my family in late April, so I had to take my two weeks then. That left me with 2 days for the rest of the year. I wasn't happy, but hey, I was following the policy. Well then the genius big-wigs decided that was unfair and that we only had to take one week all together and then you could do whatever you wanted with the rest. I was pissed off and I'm still pissed off about that. They decided this half-way through the year, and won't do anything to compensate those who followed the policy for the first half of the year. :shame: :biggun:

I consider my time off of work a very sacred thing and hate when people jack with it. So for this year at least, I could care less if I take one of my sick days if I'm not sick. I planned a call in several weeks ago on a Friday to ride out to the Guadalupe River. Was I lying.... yes. Did I feel bad about it... not in the least bit. :rider: :rider:
 
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Our sick days are technically personal days. I've used them just because I feel like leaving early on a given day. I do not lie about using them though. I'm very up front about not being sick even though I'm using sick hours to bail early. The only good thing about this union gig.
 
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When I started at my first teaching job. I did not take a personal day or sick day for 5 years straight. We got a little incentive of cash for that, but it was not the save value your daily rate was, then the new super took away the bonus and let us accumulated local days and after 10 years you could get paid for them. But if the super leaves the next one can cut that deal out if it will cost the district too much money. If you leave before 10 years then you got nothing. I noticed that I was more agitated and stressed during the first five years then other workers. So then I started taking personal days and sick days to go to the doctor to get checkups. If I leave my job I get no compensation for all the personal days I have saved up, close to 50. But I am not allowed to use them whenever I want either. I don't think it is right that you get a benefit that if you use it, you get into trouble with the boss.

:angryfire Taking a sick day is not honest, but I can rationalize it when I know the company will get rid of me to save a buck no matter how loyal or hardworking I am.
 
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It's a matter of integrity... if you're sick, then you're sick. If not, you're expected to be there. That's a job, you accept the responsibilities of taking that job!

I've only been in the 'post college' workforce for 5 years, but I can count the number of sick days I've taken on one hand.

I don't buy the "I've earned the opportunity to call in sick" ideology... plain and simple it's lying.
 

Blue Bomber

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Now an issue I will have to deal with in 15 years or so is accrued sick leave. There is no limit to sick leave accrual so I can build up thousands of hours but the kicker is I only get paid for 720 hours when I retire so I could end up giving a couple of thousands of hours back to the city....but that's a bridge I will have to cross when I get to it.
That was a problem I had when I quit working at my job after 10 1/2 years after having Sarah. I had over 60 days of sick leave after taking 6 weeks off for the baby and I just lost them. :shrug: Oh well, I would much rather be home taking care of my kids than still at that job with all those sick days waiting to be used. For me that was the best decision.
 
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Also i once worked in the financial industry.it was a well known fact if you had a credit card through the credit union and the day you take off sick they look up where you bought stuff that day and audit your bank account at their own wants and they didnt have to tell you.
I think that is peranoia(sp) to the extreme...
 

scar04

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I think that is peranoia(sp) to the extreme...
when people went on vacation, we'd audit their accounts (I was an auditor for a bank for a while) so its not uncommon. The ones we had to watch were the ones who never left. It always seemed that the most dedicated were the ones stealing (never leaving, always working a little too hard) and thats only to a degree mind you. but the ones that never left, were the ones we had to watch for.
 
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That will resolve itself; as you get older the body will tend to break down more often and you'll be glad you accrued those extra hours because they will come in handy.

Not necesarily...I know lots of officers that have 25-30 years in and have three thousand and more hours of sick leave.
 
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I am a supervisor at a generating plant so I can speak for the other side. There is not much I can do to a scum sucking sicktime abuser right now because of my company rules. But you generally know when someone abuses it and there are more ways to influence the situation later. These people make more work on me, their peers and cost the company extra money. In our facility we cover man for man so someone is forced in and we pay them overtime and the sicktime abuser gets regular time. So not only are they lying, they are stealing money as well.
The only thing that keeps most people honest in a situation like this where the likelyhood of getting caught is practically nil, is the belief in a God that sees all and knows all.
Ride safe all,
Rick
 
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Mental Health days man, thats what I call them.
:thumb:

Do you think it is okay to call in sick when you are in fact not sick?
If they are indeed intended to only be sick days, and they are use-it-or-lose-it PTO, then I'd save them for when I have a mild cold or bad allergies and enjoy. Otherwise, no, unless the employer is okay with it.

However, the company I work for has "personal time" instead of sick time, and in addition to vacation. You can use it as you see fit, and unlike vacation time, they are not accrued, but available immediately at the beginning of each year, and do not roll into the next year. Thus, I use them first (like for the AZ trip), then save a few days of vacation (I get 3 weeks) time for any illness that would keep me from going to work. Sweet deal, really... We also get additional time for bereavement, but it, of course, has to be legit - nice that it doesn't count against my other PTO though (had to use it twice already :-( ).

Edit: I should also point out that even with vacation/personal time, I give enough notice so that my absence is not a strain on my department, coworkers, and others that it may affect. If I call in, it's because I can't come in.
 
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Tourmeister

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:tab I find the loyalty comments interesting. We are talking about an employer/employee (contractual) relationship and not a personal relationship. The expectations are laid out in a contract and you are expected to abide by your agreements. The same is true for ALL parties to the contract. Loyalty is a non issue here unless one party to the contract comes to the table asking to make changes to the existing contract that are not already provided for in the contract. Then loyalty might count for the willingness of any party to accept any new conditions instead of using the changes as an excuse to get out of the contract.

:tab The fact that I may have acted in accordance with my contract for numerous years does not give rise to any unspoken claim to benefits not spelled out in the contract. Such performance is merely what I agreed to provide in return for the pay/benefits in the contract. To argue that I should become exempted from those terms after some indefinite period of satisfying them does not make sense :shrug:

:tab A personal relationship is TOTALLY a different creature and loyalty plays a major part of the dynamics. There are not always explicitly spelled out conditions for the relationship. There are no legally binding requirements on parties to such relationships. The formal act of marriage might be an exception, but in our current society, even that has lost much of its former importance.
 
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At my previous employer, I had hundreds of hours of sick time accumulated. I never took a sick day, I guess I just felt too bad about it. And when I left the company, do you know what I got for never taking a sick day? Absolutely nothing. All that loyalty and nothing to show kindof hurts.
So... why did you leave? For the new job, or just to get out or what? Either way, expecting a pat on the back from a place you're leaving sounds kind of like walking out on your wife and being disappointed she didn't give you "one for the road."

On the other hand, if the reason you left was because they never showed they appreciated your loyalty, did you really think they would change their ways at the end?
 
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Well IMO, if you work for a company like mine ya'lls opinions might be different. Sounds like most people here have office jobs. I work for a crappy contractor, by this I will explain. When you are only given 40hrs vacation after 2 years (They lied saying after 1 year), absolutely no sick days or personal days, and they take holidays away from you (Currently only 5 days) you tend to have a bad perspective on the company. They screw you, you screw them. Its a sorry attitude but when they do stuff like that to the employees, its hard to have a good attitude about the company. If the company gave a crap about the employees, then no I wouldn't take sick days just to take them.

* Solved my little problem though, going in the Navy. :mrgreen: No calling in sick when your not!
 
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There are many rushing/flying issues in the replies. There's a bit here and a piece there. It is said that he who forms the definitions wins the debate. Depending on the "good will" of the employer, the definitions seem to move quite a bit and are mostly controlled by the employer. That form of "contract" is one-sided at best. Yes, I know, I am free to find the employer of my choice.

To take a step back in a way that we know TM to do, the underlying issue is "fair" compensation. To one, sick time or PTO is compensation. To another it's something else. Many employers want to have it both ways; it's compensation, but you lose it at the end of the year. That is a strange definition of compensation.

I struggle with the idea of "lying" painted with a broad brush since we would all tell a big one if we were hiding our children from trouble.

How should it be? The worker is worthy of his wages (oops, an external source of truth). If all the benefits given/offered/paid to an employe are compensation, then there should be no way for an employer to retain the compensation. If they can be rolled forward, they should be fully paid at some point. If it's not compensation, then I must ask, what is it?

One of the reasons that unions occur is that a tension builds over time between the owner/employer and the employee. I believe that compensation is the first source of tension.

Bottom line, it's complex and I can't provide a simple answer.
 

Tourmeister

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Well IMO, if you work for a company like mine ya'lls opinions might be different. Sounds like most people here have office jobs. I work for a crappy contractor, by this I will explain. When you are only given 40hrs vacation after 2 years (They lied saying after 1 year), absolutely no sick days or personal days, and they take holidays away from you (Currently only 5 days) you tend to have a bad perspective on the company. They screw you, you screw them. Its a sorry attitude but when they do stuff like that to the employees, its hard to have a good attitude about the company. If the company gave a crap about the employees, then no I wouldn't take sick days just to take them.

* Solved my little problem though, going in the Navy. :mrgreen: No calling in sick when your not!
:tab What they are doing is not sticking by their agreements. I totally agree that doing so is a crappy thing to do. Now, it might very well be that you feel or think you have no choice but to accept their behavior because the alternative of looking for other work is more hassle than staying put. However, if you continue to work for them after they make such changes, then you have implicitly agreed to such changes. Otherwise, their changes would be grounds for you to leave the job. So it is still not justification for unethical behavior on the part of the employee.

:tab I do have an "office" job. However, I work directly for my customers. You want to talk about people changing things on the fly...?? :lol2: :doh: They are forever trying to do things outside our contract, get me to do them "favors" blah blah blah... They totally expect me to be 100% loyal to them and forgive any faults of theirs, but it is a one way street. I am ALWAYS reminding them of their contractual agreements and that what they are asking is either prohibited by the contract or outside the scope of the contract. I am not ugly about it, and as a result, the majority of my customers have relaxed and we now have very good ongoing working relationships. A few others are no longer customers and they are not missed in the slightest ;-)
 
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