The United States, unlike Europe, is an “at will” country which means that employers are free to hire and fire at will. Similarly, workers are free to apply and quit at will. The only restrictions are a handful of minimum anti-discrimination statutes and their respective employment contract. That means there are no laws that ensure you are granted sick days. This post will go over your rights and how you can enforce them.
So, this probably leads you to ask, why are sick days a universal right? The answer is that sick days can be granted by state law and by contract. If you are wondering if you have a right to sick days, by state law, but your employer is not giving them to you, then you may want to ask the advice of a lawyer.
The other source of law that provides you with sick days is commonly found in your employment contract. While most jobs are considered “at-will,” that does not mean you aren’t also bound by an employment contract. Most companies provide their employees with employee manuals or codes of conduct; these documents often act as an employment contract.
The employee manual will provide a minimum number of sick days, paid vacation, and other benefits. This will serve as the basis for any claims against your employer for damages.
If you believe your rights were violated, you may want to speak to an attorney. If you do decide to meet with a lawyer, be sure to bring a copy of your employee manual. Your attorney will need to review it during your consult to advise you of possible methods to pursue compensation. You can pursue damages under both employment and contract disputes. A lawyer can advise you of the pros and cons of both methods.