Author Topic: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave  (Read 12336 times)

Peter Parker

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The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« on: October 19, 2017, 06:56:59 PM »
I've got a devil on my shoulder whispering bad things into my ear....

I've accumulated a 1000 hours of sick leave.  When I retire in about 3.5 years, I lose the first 200 hours and get "service credit" for one-half of the remaining amount (which doesn't amount to much service credit--about 10 weeks) that will be added my service years for purposes of calculating my pension.   That's something, I suppose, but not much....

The devil has been telling me to get 100 percent out of my sick leave by taking a few days here, a few more there....But my Catholic guilt is getting to me (and I'm not even Catholic) and telling me not to take sick days unless I'm sick....

What would you do?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 06:58:49 PM by Peter Parker »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 07:09:20 PM »
I think it depends on your work situation. Sick leave gets noticed. Of course we want people to take care of themselves. But someone that is taking a lot of sick leave looks odd to Management and it seems like disengagement or looking for a new job. If you have doctor’s proof, sure. Personally, I’d rather have the payout. If you want the day “ off”, why not just ask if you can work from home sometimes?

LearnTo

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 07:40:15 PM »
I couldn't take the guilt.  It's sick leave, not vacation.  And you have the treat of retirement.
Sick days when you are not sick hurt your co-workers, right?
Sometimes it's good to do the right thing, not compare yourself to what others might do.

startingsmall

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 08:52:07 PM »
There are jobs where people get sick leave? *swoon*

Color me jealous.

Noodle

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 08:52:48 PM »
For me, it would depend on whether a) my workplace allowed sick leave "donation" and b) how much of a hassle it is for my co-workers when I'm out. If there wasn't a good cause it could go to, and it wasn't going to cause a lot of problems for other people, I would probably be more generous about what I defined as "sick." Feeling kind of sniffly--I'm sick. Didn't sleep well last night--I'm sick. Etc. Just don't go out carousing when you are theoretically sick. The grocery store is fine (sick people need food too) but there is no way to explain bowling if you supposedly have stomach flu.

DoubleDown

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 09:24:52 PM »
I hear ya, but I would avoid taking advantage of sick leave when it's not needed. Whatever your belief system, your conscience is telling you something. That said, I would (and did myself before I retired) take sick leave occasionally when I could have gone to the office, but wasn't 100%. And I used it (legally in every sense) to go to doctor appointments, take my kids to the doctor, etc. I figured even if I had a relatively mild illness, it was better not to spread it around to others at work. I even used it a couple of times when I was just plain tired. But I didn't feel like I was abusing it, as I also had a ton of unused time like you and only used it on pretty rare occasions. YMMV.
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MrThatsDifferent

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 09:29:30 PM »
I’ll also share, at my work, we have a focus on mental health for our clients so we have practice what we preach.  So, is you’re stressed, overwhelmed or whatever, you can say: taking a mental health day and not coming in today. That’s fine and not questioned. If I had staff who did that a lot I would think we’d need to give greater support.

obstinate

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2017, 09:34:17 PM »
I suggest being thankful you were so healthy that you didn't need to use this leave.

If that doesn't work, consider the risk. Does getting fired do anything to your pension?

RedmondStash

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 09:55:13 PM »
I'd say start taking the occasional mental health day, once or twice a month. It really can do wonders for your productivity, so there's no need to feel guilty. You don't have to use it all up, but you don't have to let it all just sit there either.

It should not be a burden to your coworkers; if your company budgets X days of sick leave per person as part of the compensation package, then that's how many lost days they've already budgeted for.

Most places I've worked that have separate sick leave & vacation don't let sick leave roll over; you get maybe 2 weeks a year, and it vanishes at the end of each year. Yours sounds like an unusual situation.

Knaak

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 11:11:42 PM »
I used a sick day almost every Friday since May, plus I turned every three day holiday weekend into a five day weekend this year.  I don't even bother putting a reason in the system.  My boss is the one that told me "mental health day" is a valid excuse and he's the one that approves the sick days.  HR can only require a doctor's note if we take three or more consecutive sick days, so I told my boss from now on if I take one or two days off I'll take them as sick days, otherwise I'll use vacation days.  His response was "that's smart."

Last month I had a coworker retire with over 70 sick days unused and they don't get paid out.  Only vacation days get paid out.  That was like leaving 6+ paychecks sitting in his desk drawer on his way out of the office.

surfhb

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 11:42:45 PM »
Its mind boggling to me why anyone would not use every inch of benefits paid to you by your employer.    Sick days are baked into their budgets so leaving them on the table unused goes into their pocket, not yours.   

I love the new PTO days companies are giving out.   It actually discourages "sick day" use and the guilt associated with it.   

SC93

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 11:59:58 PM »
I'm with you. No idea why anyone would feel bad about taking what is given to them. My little woman takes everyone of hers. There is a lady at the museum that rarely uses any of her sick days.... crazy. If I had a job I'd be sick every day so I'd quickly run out of sick days. lol

SecondBreakfast

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 03:00:15 AM »
I'm more confused by feeling guilty about taking a day if you're still getting your work done. The "sick day" is as much of a lie as "needing you to be at your desk 40+ hours a week". If your job is getting done then they're both only signals of company loyalty, which you don't care about because you're retiring.

Do enough to do your job, ditch all the career-building company-man signals, retire with a clean conscience.

life_travel

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 03:33:38 AM »
I have 97 sick days and when I leave they are not paid out. It's very hard to take sick leave where I work , just not worth it, it puts pressure on others and then also makes me do extra hours to "catch up" so yeah...:(

ZiziPB

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 04:27:21 AM »
I'm very glad that my company doesn't have separate sick leave.  We just get 4 extra days of PTO per year and if you are sick more than a week, short term disability kicks in.  Having said that, they recently changed their policy and will not be paying out any unused PTO days when an employee leaves, so I am definitely planning to use it all up before I quit next year.  But at least I don't have to pretend to be sick :-)



MommyCake

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2017, 04:42:03 AM »
I agree with the person who said to ask for clarification on what you can use sick time for.  At my job I can use it if I'm sick or have a medical appointment (and yes I can take a whole day off for an appointment) or if a family member is sick or has an appointment.  Your employer may even be okay with using sick days for things like bringing car to mechanic, have home repairs completed, etc.  Doesn't hurt to ask, and then you won't feel guilty once you have approval. 

SnackDog

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2017, 04:58:21 AM »
I have used less than 5 sick leave days in 20 years.  I realize others are not so fortunate with their health.  Being healthy is all the thanks I need, I don't need to screw my employer out of 100 illegit sick days on top of it.
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anadyne

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 05:01:17 AM »
Its mind boggling to me why anyone would not use every inch of benefits paid to you by your employer.    Sick days are baked into their budgets so leaving them on the table unused goes into their pocket, not yours.   

I love the new PTO days companies are giving out.   It actually discourages "sick day" use and the guilt associated with it.
 

This is how I feel about it. I can't even conceive of it as a matter of ethics, but of budgeting. My employer has budged 12 days/year of compensation for me to paid out of the pool of money they have designated for health leave. I am allowed to accumulate 120 days, then overage is lost. I budget my sick days like money - I wouldn't leave employer match on the table, I wouldn't leave this budgeted pool of paid time off on the table. 

We can donate a certain amount of our sick leave to those in need (I have an uncle who needed this when his wife was dying of cancer, I've donated ever since I realized how much this paid time off donation helps people's lives) - I donate the max to that first. 

I schedule deliberate, pre-planned, regular days into my schedule to use the 'sick leave' hours. So three months in advance I can look at my schedule and see the days I've given myself off. I actually do end up scheduling some of those to go to the dentist and whatnot, then run errands or chill the rest of the time. Other times I use them to make 3 or 4 day weekends. Anyone looking at my schedule will see that I won't be at work those days, months in advance. 

Other days I keep in reserve in case I actually get sick. Those are the ones I ultimately donate if they're unused. 

I've never once thought of them as an ethical issue. To me it's like coming in under budget on groceries and using the money that's left to go out to dinner or something.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2017, 05:39:04 AM »
The guys at my work are shameless about it. We lose sick days every march, so people want to burn them before they are gone. We also can't have everyone be gone at the same time without notice. So yes, we have people literally schedule sick days, weeks in advance.

The only one it helps by not using them is your boss.

Northern gal

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2017, 05:46:35 AM »
I had six weeks of personal leave saved up and felt the way you do.

Then suddenly out of the blue I got a debilitating illness. Viral the doctor said. Nothing anyone can do. Bed rest fluids and time. I asked how long does it ysually take? Guess what: six weeks.

I was lucky it only took four.

My advice: be glad you are not sick!

The odd mental health day is fine if you need it.

merlin7676

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2017, 07:08:18 AM »
Like other posters stated, they are already your days. Your company gives them to you as part of your compensation package. They know that some will use all and all will use some, but not all using all so it really leaves them with extra money in their pocket.

Thankfully my company doesn't have sick vs. vacation. You get a set number of PTO days to use how you see fit.  This way you don't have to feel guilty about using up your days or calling in sick. The pto can be used however you want. So if you're going on vacation, you're sick, or you just don't feel like coming in, it doesn't matter as long as you don't exceed your limit.

Raenia

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2017, 07:13:01 AM »
At the very least, you shouldn't feel guilty about using those days to schedule appointments, take some mental health days, etc.  I would also lower the bar on what you consider 'sick enough to not go to work.'  Drippy nose due to weather change?  Sick day.  Achy and tired due to overwork?  Sick day.  Really, really don't want to get out of bed?  Sick day.  You don't have to try to use up every last day, but you don't have to feel guilty about using them either.

partgypsy

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2017, 07:36:21 AM »
I honestly wish they had combined sick/personal leave. I'm kind of in the same boat, of about 45 hours of annual leave, but 500? 600? hours of sick leave. What is even more weird, in my federal corner, people who are on sick leave can ask for people to donate leave. But you have to donate your annual leave, not your sick leave. Which can create even more of an inbalance.

Remember you can take sick leave for doctors appointments for you and your family members, or if you are just plain exhausted, if not not formally "sick". Read up on what your sick leave covers, it may cover more than you think.

Mr. Green

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2017, 07:45:56 AM »
Sick leave can absolutely be used to take a mental health day. Taking time off to ensure you are performing as well as you can is just as important as taking time off when you're physically sick. If you're not already start taking time for mental health days.
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Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2017, 07:48:44 AM »
I average 2 sick days a year.  Those consist of (4) half days for doctor and dentist appts.

I regularly feel resentment towards my co-workers who call in sick on average 10+ days a year.  Some break 20.

I should just assume its legit and be thankful I tend to stay healthier, but we know how it goes...something about Fridays and Mondays weakening immune systems I guess.

Unfortunately, its me who gets the extra work when they are out.  WTF.  It'd be great if I could just blow their work off, but there are always things that have to be done that day.

And what's up with the get-out-of-jail-free 'my kid is sick' card.  This is dropped regularly for taking a sick day.  How about you actually work from home and get something done instead of just dumping all of your responsibilities on your co-worker?  Its completely disrespectful.  Does the sick child really require 100% minute to minute attention that you can't do ANY work???  Gimme a break.  No, your co-worker will pick up the slack for you! 


At what point does one say 'If you can't beat them, join them'? 

Its beyond frustrating, because I just can't fathom intentionally wanting to screw your co-worker over, but it seems that the general consensus is its just fine and dandy.

Raenia

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2017, 08:11:40 AM »
I average 2 sick days a year.  Those consist of (4) half days for doctor and dentist appts.

I regularly feel resentment towards my co-workers who call in sick on average 10+ days a year.  Some break 20.

I should just assume its legit and be thankful I tend to stay healthier, but we know how it goes...something about Fridays and Mondays weakening immune systems I guess.

Unfortunately, its me who gets the extra work when they are out.  WTF.  It'd be great if I could just blow their work off, but there are always things that have to be done that day.

And what's up with the get-out-of-jail-free 'my kid is sick' card.  This is dropped regularly for taking a sick day.  How about you actually work from home and get something done instead of just dumping all of your responsibilities on your co-worker?  Its completely disrespectful.  Does the sick child really require 100% minute to minute attention that you can't do ANY work???  Gimme a break.  No, your co-worker will pick up the slack for you! 


At what point does one say 'If you can't beat them, join them'? 

Its beyond frustrating, because I just can't fathom intentionally wanting to screw your co-worker over, but it seems that the general consensus is its just fine and dandy.

This depends a lot on the job itself.  For instance, if I take a sick day for whatever reason, no one gets stuck doing my work, that work just doesn't get done that day and waits for the day I come back.  If I have something urgent on my plate, I will of course be less likely to take a sick day for less than full-on food poisoning.  If, on the other hand, I have very little to do that day and would have spent the day dicking around on the internet, I feel no guilt taking a mental health day so I can sleep in and run errands, or just do my dicking around on my own computer instead of the company network.

If your job is such that your work is being directly added to coworkers loads, then it depends more on the office culture whether it is acceptable or not.

simonsez

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2017, 08:25:15 AM »
1.  What is the math involved? 

You mentioned 10 weeks of time in service could be added to your pension.  That's roughly .4 years.  If you receive 1% per year (just guessing) and your highest year or average of whatever is in the calculation is 100k, you're looking at $400 extra/year.  If you are expecting to live 40 years past retirement this is $16,000.  If your avg salary used is 150k and you get 2%/year on your pension, this would be $1200/year or $48,000 over 40 years.

Put a ballpark price on your guilt or whatever costs of dealing with this situation and see if it is more or less than the added pension value.  Adjust accordingly to your actual pension formula and any present/future valuation differences.

2.  If you take the SL, does this unduly burden others or yourself when you return?  Or would this largely go unnoticed in the grand scheme?

3.  Are there any surgeries you have been considering?  You could always play it extra safe after getting that pesky mole removed and take leave.

zinnie

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2017, 08:31:45 AM »
Where I come from, sick days are for actually being sick or going to appointments. They are separate from PTO because PTO is planned, and sick days allow you to just not show up one day by notifying people that morning. So it affects coworkers a lot, which made people not be out more than they needed to, plus we always only got five days that didn't roll over so it wasn't that many days. Most people used it up through appointments or kids being sick and at least one illness (and sometimes a hangover day or two, I'm sure.) I can't imagine just using up every possible day because it's just a benefit the company assumes will be used up. We also had days for bereavement, and jury duty, and probably something else I can't think of right now. But I promise you the company was not planning on every single employee taking off for every possible reason every single year. If that started happening I'm sure they'd make us start to ask for proof.

Are you thinking of using the whole 1000, or just the 200 that you can't use for another benefit? Because 200 hours is only 4.75 hours per month for the next 3.5 years. So basically every other month you have one day. I don't blame you for the guilt if you are just trying to be honest, but don't you have a day every few months that you just aren't feeling great, whatever the reason? Mental health, physical illness, headache, etc.? Maybe you could start by just being a little bit looser about your definition of "sick." And when you do actually get sick, take as many days as you need. Plus you never know what's going to happen in the next few years--maybe you will actually need a lot of sick days at some point. It would be unfortunate if you used them all up for other reasons and then needed to be out for weeks for a serious illness for you or a family member.

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2017, 08:38:41 AM »
I guess my company culture is screw your co-worker.

I do ignore all non-critical items piled onto me, but there is ALWAYS something that has to be done because the consequences of not doing it will bring about even more pain.

Some sick results are absolutely ridiculous...consuming half or more of my own day with other people's responsibilities, due to those last minute 'unavoidable sicknesses'.  They've definitely pushed me to the brink of calling it that day and walking out the door.  They still could...I'm getting more and more irked over it.

On average though, when someone calls in sick, I get an extra hour of work that day.

That means I get to perform one hour of unpaid charity work for Frank so he can 'make sure' Bobby sue is OK.  But hey, I'm sure it was touch and go for Bobby sue the whole day....just like it was a few weeks ago...and the month before.  Its also concerning that there is no cell phone or internet at Frank's house to do work...god forbid Bobby sue takes a bad turn...how will Frank reach an EMT?

Its dis-respect plain and simple and its really sad that the only answer to combat it is to return the unethical behavior and give the Franks an equal taste of their own medicine. 

I just can't bring myself to do it though.  It feels slimy.  But are the extra 'charity' hours worth holding one's ethics?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:41:30 AM by Slee_stack »

anadyne

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2017, 08:44:57 AM »
Maybe the difference is that I've never worked in a job in which duties are shared to the extent that a single sick person changes the entire dynamics of everyone's day and productivity.

semiretired31

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2017, 08:57:21 AM »
I've not worked in an environment where they have delineated sick and vacation days in a long time.  Everything is lumped together as PTO.  I like that so much better because it removes the burden of proof for days off.  You have this many to take and you take them how you please.  Be sure to reserve some for "just in case".  The sick days being available, but questionable in usage, leaves this type of conundrum. 

All that said, me being out of the office for the day has very little negative consequence for others.  So, if I take a day, it's not big deal.

GuitarStv

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2017, 09:03:16 AM »
I average 2 sick days a year.  Those consist of (4) half days for doctor and dentist appts.

I regularly feel resentment towards my co-workers who call in sick on average 10+ days a year.  Some break 20.

I should just assume its legit and be thankful I tend to stay healthier, but we know how it goes...something about Fridays and Mondays weakening immune systems I guess.

Unfortunately, its me who gets the extra work when they are out.  WTF.  It'd be great if I could just blow their work off, but there are always things that have to be done that day.

And what's up with the get-out-of-jail-free 'my kid is sick' card.  This is dropped regularly for taking a sick day.  How about you actually work from home and get something done instead of just dumping all of your responsibilities on your co-worker?  Its completely disrespectful.  Does the sick child really require 100% minute to minute attention that you can't do ANY work???  Gimme a break.  No, your co-worker will pick up the slack for you! 


At what point does one say 'If you can't beat them, join them'? 

Its beyond frustrating, because I just can't fathom intentionally wanting to screw your co-worker over, but it seems that the general consensus is its just fine and dandy.

The first year that my son was in daycare, everyone in our family was sick.  I typically take 1 - 2 sick days a year, and ended up taking 20 that year (not including the significant number of days that I went in to work with a cold/fever).  It was crazy, and I had never experienced anything like it before.

I don't know about older kids, but a sick child under four requires constant supervision.  Many day cares and childcare places will send a child with a fever home, so it's up to the parent to look after the child suddenly and without warning.  Children are very demanding.  I'd encourage you to try looking after a two or three year old for a day while also attempting to get work done.  It might help to mitigate your resentment.

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2017, 09:13:17 AM »
There are a couple people with very young children here.

The worst offenders have their youngest playing sports.

Let me flip it.

Would you be content being the one putting in the vast majority of the free hours?  Or would you feel resentment?


I can presume everybody is being 100% honest and truly can't do any work ever.  I'm not sure trying to play a fool helps.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:16:08 AM by Slee_stack »

scantee

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2017, 09:16:39 AM »
There are a couple people with very young children here.

The worst offenders have their youngest playing sports.

Let me flip it.

Would you be content being the one putting in the vast majority of the free hours?  Or would you feel resentment?

What do you mean by free hours? Your boss is making you work unpaid? That seems like a more serious labor violation than just people using their sick time liberally.

GuitarStv

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2017, 09:22:01 AM »
There are a couple people with very young children here.

The worst offenders have their youngest playing sports.

Let me flip it.

Would you be content being the one putting in the vast majority of the free hours?  Or would you feel resentment?

What do you mean by free hours? Your boss is making you work unpaid? That seems like a more serious labor violation than just people using their sick time liberally.

+1

Don't work unpaid hours.  Your complaining has much more to do with that than sick time.

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2017, 09:22:27 AM »
I'm salaried.  No such thing as OT.

So if someone in the team is out, and something has to get done, the team covers that day.

On average its an extra hour...so 10hr day instead of 9...for instance.



OMG, now I just have to laugh it.  A co-worker came by and mentioned he was 'leaving early' today.  His leg 'hurts'. He says there's nothing that is critical this afternoon.

Last time he said that I got bombed.  I hate Fridays.

I'm sitting here with a skinned arm and knuckles....and am pretty damn sore myself today.  Does that merit taking sick time??  Come on. 

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2017, 09:25:58 AM »
Yeah the complaining.

The answer is leave.  I already know that.

My situation makes that a poor choice.  I'm close enough to FI that leaving would slow the date.  So I suck it up and vent here.


This thread is about the ethics of sick time.  I provided my view and situation as fodder that taking sick time when you don't need it can be pretty damn unethical if you are screwing your co-worker as a result.

GuitarStv

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2017, 09:31:11 AM »
I'm salaried.  No such thing as OT.

So if someone in the team is out, and something has to get done, the team covers that day.

On average its an extra hour...so 10hr day instead of 9...for instance.



OMG, now I just have to laugh it.  A co-worker came by and mentioned he was 'leaving early' today.  His leg 'hurts'. He says there's nothing that is critical this afternoon.

Last time he said that I got bombed.  I hate Fridays.

I'm sitting here with a skinned arm and knuckles....and am pretty damn sore myself today.  Does that merit taking sick time??  Come on.

I'm salaried too.  We have an expected work week of about 40 hours.  If stuff needs to get done that might jump to 50 or 60.  And then then you might put in a couple 30 hour weeks.  If you're regularly expected to work more hours than the job description, request more resources or change jobs.

If you're sick, take sick time.  Suffering through pain and illness to complain about the situations of others (to which you are not privy to all details) is a waste of your time.  It just makes you unhappy.

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2017, 09:34:52 AM »
I'm salaried.  No such thing as OT.

So if someone in the team is out, and something has to get done, the team covers that day.

On average its an extra hour...so 10hr day instead of 9...for instance.



OMG, now I just have to laugh it.  A co-worker came by and mentioned he was 'leaving early' today.  His leg 'hurts'. He says there's nothing that is critical this afternoon.

Last time he said that I got bombed.  I hate Fridays.

I'm sitting here with a skinned arm and knuckles....and am pretty damn sore myself today.  Does that merit taking sick time??  Come on.

I'm salaried too.  We have an expected work week of about 40 hours.  If stuff needs to get done that might jump to 50 or 60.  And then then you might put in a couple 30 hour weeks.  If you're regularly expected to work more hours than the job description, request more resources or change jobs.

If you're sick, take sick time.  Suffering through pain and illness to complain about the situations of others (to which you are not privy to all details) is a waste of your time.  It just makes you unhappy.
So do you believe in taking sick time simply because it is available?

TomTX

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2017, 09:35:42 AM »
There is a fellow at my work who has accrued something over 5,000 hours of sick time in decades on the job. Because he never takes his vacation time or sick time - just comp time from working extra hours other times. Annually, the vacation (above a cap) rolls into sick time, which is unlimited.

No sick payout at retirement, but it does count as "time served" toward the retirement check.
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Knaak

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2017, 09:39:38 AM »
Slee_stack, it sounds like you're the office martyr.

Stop whining and go home early.  You are clearly in need of a few mental health days.

Signed,
The guy that slept in this morning

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2017, 09:42:33 AM »
Slee_stack, it sounds like you're the office martyr.

Stop whining and go home early.  You are clearly in need of a few mental health days.

Signed,
The guy that slept in this morning
OK.  Thanks.  Cover for me, K?

GuitarStv

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2017, 09:43:19 AM »
I'm salaried.  No such thing as OT.

So if someone in the team is out, and something has to get done, the team covers that day.

On average its an extra hour...so 10hr day instead of 9...for instance.



OMG, now I just have to laugh it.  A co-worker came by and mentioned he was 'leaving early' today.  His leg 'hurts'. He says there's nothing that is critical this afternoon.

Last time he said that I got bombed.  I hate Fridays.

I'm sitting here with a skinned arm and knuckles....and am pretty damn sore myself today.  Does that merit taking sick time??  Come on.

I'm salaried too.  We have an expected work week of about 40 hours.  If stuff needs to get done that might jump to 50 or 60.  And then then you might put in a couple 30 hour weeks.  If you're regularly expected to work more hours than the job description, request more resources or change jobs.

If you're sick, take sick time.  Suffering through pain and illness to complain about the situations of others (to which you are not privy to all details) is a waste of your time.  It just makes you unhappy.
So do you believe in taking sick time simply because it is available?

Nope.  If you're sick, take sick time.

It's why I don't like the idea of X number of sick days a year and banking sick days.  It encourages people to take sick time when they aren't sick.  I prefer working for companies where you take sick time whenever you feel that you're sick.  My experience has been that the increased trust in employees seems to lead to less abuse.  if you treat people like they can't be trusted . . . After long enough you'll find that they can't be trusted.

zinnie

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2017, 09:46:54 AM »
Maybe the difference is that I've never worked in a job in which duties are shared to the extent that a single sick person changes the entire dynamics of everyone's day and productivity.

It isn't just about job duties being shared, in my experience. When you're responsible for products and systems that need to be up and running 24/7, and when certain people are point people for specific things in an organization, a team member being out affects the others in that they need to take on some of that work for the day to keep the ship running. Again, in my personal experience, that makes the people who call out sick NOT abuse that privilege, because they have to also ask their coworker to do XYZ for them. And in a good working relationship the coworker says of course they will do it and the sick person returns the favor next time. Same for being out for vacation.

Reading this board makes me think I've only worked in model work environments! I could NOT handle consistent slackers or people leaving early and sticking others with their work--that would have been completely unacceptable in my department, would prevent any promotions, would get that person managed out, etc. In my experience those types of people dig their own graves, so there isn't any point worrying about them...

There is a fellow at my work who has accrued something over 5,000 hours of sick time in decades on the job. Because he never takes his vacation time or sick time - just comp time from working extra hours other times. Annually, the vacation (above a cap) rolls into sick time, which is unlimited.

No sick payout at retirement, but it does count as "time served" toward the retirement check.

That's crazy! Why would sick time roll over like that? It seems like it defeats the purpose of sick time--it's not like your frequency of sickness has any correlation to how long you've been with a company :)

Nope.  If you're sick, take sick time.

It's why I don't like the idea of X number of sick days a year and banking sick days.  It encourages people to take sick time when they aren't sick.  I prefer working for companies where you take sick time whenever you feel that you're sick.  My experience has been that the increased trust in employees seems to lead to less abuse.  if you treat people like they can't be trusted . . . After long enough you'll find that they can't be trusted.

Agree with this completely
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:48:43 AM by zinnie »

scantee

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2017, 09:50:02 AM »
I'm salaried.  No such thing as OT.

So if someone in the team is out, and something has to get done, the team covers that day.

On average its an extra hour...so 10hr day instead of 9...for instance.



OMG, now I just have to laugh it.  A co-worker came by and mentioned he was 'leaving early' today.  His leg 'hurts'. He says there's nothing that is critical this afternoon.

Last time he said that I got bombed.  I hate Fridays.

I'm sitting here with a skinned arm and knuckles....and am pretty damn sore myself today.  Does that merit taking sick time??  Come on. 

You need a mindset shift. Don't do the extra work, don't stay the extra hour. Unless you are an emergency room physician, or in a job with a similar level of urgency, you are almost certainly overvaluing the need to do your coworker's work for them. I know you don't feel that this is true, but consider the possibility that you are getting something out of doing their work for them. A sense of control, of superiority, something. If you insist on working more than is necessary, a better way for you to add value to your organization is to spend your extra time examining the problem and going to your boss with some possible solutions and ideas about how to implement them.

Knaak

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2017, 09:51:31 AM »
Slee_stack, it sounds like you're the office martyr.

Stop whining and go home early.  You are clearly in need of a few mental health days.

Signed,
The guy that slept in this morning
OK.  Thanks.  Cover for me, K?

From the looks of it, all you're doing is posting on MMM from work.  So yes, I have you covered.  Well, at least until it warms up a bit more and I go for my bike ride, then you'll have to do your own posting again.  Fortunately, you can do that from home.

teen persuasion

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2017, 09:54:36 AM »
DH was contemplating leaving his employer, and had a lot of sick time accrued.  PTO could only roll over a small amount annually before they cashed excess out (at 50%), but sick time didn't have a limit.  Taking sick time wasn't usually worth the extra pile up you returned to (no one did your stuff for you, and you had to work extra to make up for lost time) so he rarely was out sick unless truly at death's door.

He looked into the payout rules, double checked all his options and for loopholes, before resigning.  Even at 50% payout, he had enough sick time + PTO that we put 50% in his 401k (nearly maxing, leaving enough room to capture another employer's match) and the remainder would be equivalent to his expected take home for the rest of the year (if he'd continued working past June).

A few months later, thru the grapevine, he heard that the employer capped sick time payouts at $2500.  Not a coincidence, I think.

Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2017, 09:55:22 AM »
Slee_stack, it sounds like you're the office martyr.

Stop whining and go home early.  You are clearly in need of a few mental health days.

Signed,
The guy that slept in this morning
OK.  Thanks.  Cover for me, K?

From the looks of it, all you're doing is posting on MMM from work.  So yes, I have you covered.  Well, at least until it warms up a bit more and I go for my bike ride, then you'll have to do your own posting again.  Fortunately, you can do that from home.
Yeah, I don't have (3) monitors.  Oh wait.   Do people not handle IMs and email while they work???

TomTX

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2017, 10:02:46 AM »

From the looks of it, all you're doing is posting on MMM from work.  So yes, I have you covered.  Well, at least until it warms up a bit more and I go for my bike ride, then you'll have to do your own posting again.  Fortunately, you can do that from home.
Yeah, I don't have (3) monitors.  Oh wait.   Do people not handle IMs and email while they work???

You don't multitask as well as you think you do.

Personally, I'm off work today
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Slee_stack

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Re: The Ethics of Taking Sick Leave
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2017, 10:10:13 AM »

From the looks of it, all you're doing is posting on MMM from work.  So yes, I have you covered.  Well, at least until it warms up a bit more and I go for my bike ride, then you'll have to do your own posting again.  Fortunately, you can do that from home.
Yeah, I don't have (3) monitors.  Oh wait.   Do people not handle IMs and email while they work???

You don't multitask as well as you think you do.

Personally, I'm off work today
No one does.  Its dreadfully inefficient.

Hope you are enjoying your 'off' day.


Doesn't matter, I don't really care about all the side 'cleverness' that people love to interject.   Congrats...enjoy..whatever you like.


The thread is Sick Leave Ethics.

If folks are really debating whether they should use their sick time just because they have it, I would ask them to see if they truly are or aren't affecting their co-workers and how they would like to be treated in kind.


Absolutely take sick time if its warranted.  Be ethical with it if you can.