At what point during employment should workers begin to earn and use paid sick time?

by Doug Matthews, almost 2 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

There is often a "waiting period" or "probational period" before employees can begin to earn sick time. Should this be part of any policy proposal? If so, what is a reasonable period between initial employment and when an employee begins earning sick time? 

Consultation has concluded

  • Laura R almost 2 years ago
    Workers should be able to earn and use time right away.
  • sclaytor almost 2 years ago
    One cannot predict when one will falls sick. Employees should start earning sick time immediately.
  • sanajaved7 almost 2 years ago
    Immediately. Nobody plans to have illnesses or emergencies and they certainly do NOT only start after some arbitrary waiting period. Those types of situations do not wait for the "right time" to show up and what we want is to encourage people to take time off, especially if they are ill and contagious. I don't want to deter contagious people from staying home because they're in a "waiting period" of some sort.
  • Jeff Evins almost 2 years ago
    requiring this of employers is bad policy. But if the COA does require this there should be at least a 1 year length of employment requirement. Similar to other federal requirements. More employers may see it as a retention tool and not another government giveaway employers are required to fund.
  • Wtaylor23 almost 2 years ago
    After 6 months or a year of employment. Employer decides .
  • Arawin86 almost 2 years ago
    Immediately they can begin to accrue it on each paid hour. Sick time kicks in on the 3rd day of absence due to illness/injury. If first day of absence is due to surgery then sick time is paid on day 1. Medical certification is required after 3 days.
  • TanDao almost 2 years ago
    6 months after full time employment
  • Sarah almost 2 years ago
    Hello, I keep accidentally referring comments to a moderator. Sorry about that.
  • Sarah almost 2 years ago
    Right away. Illness is unplanned, so they should start accruing hours immediately.
  • Ashkan almost 2 years ago
    Employees should begin to earn and use their sick leave immediately. This is because humans are generally incapable of predicting when they will fall ill. Further restrictions here may be difficult for business owners to properly record and implement- an issue brought up by many business owners.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • strugglingsmallbizowner almost 2 years ago
      Business owners regularly keep records of PTO accrual and vesting. That's what we do. The difficult part is regulation.And in your scenario, let's say I hire a human for $25/hour. The human shows up for a day or two which will mostly be orientation and training. Then human says they are sick and does not come back for two weeks (or never). I now owe this human $2,000.00?
      Hide reply (1)
      • Ashkan almost 2 years ago
        No, I have stated in a separate comment that earned paid sick leave should be accrued alongside hours worked. In the situation you've described, that person would not have accrued even one hour of paid sick leave and thus could not put an undue burden onto your business. It is to be earned. I agree that the situation you've proposed would be untenable if allowed by law- though I don't see it happening.
  • Nolan almost 2 years ago
    I work in an industry with very high turn over (we are a lawn care company). It would be very burdensome to track all of the employees that don't stick around. I think that if this is implemented (which I hope it isn't) that people should start earning after 180 days (or the equivalent hours for part time).
  • strugglingsmallbizowner almost 2 years ago
    This policy SHOULD NOT be created. But an employee can start earning when they are hired, but can't redeem until they have been employed full time for a year.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Ashkan almost 2 years ago
      I do not support this suggestion because I am unaware of a mechanism by which human workers can decide to not become sick in their first year of employment at a new job.
  • lillian_m almost 2 years ago
    They should be able to start earning time immediately. Nobody plans to get sick, flu season is coming up, then allergy season, etc. Workers need these days as soon as possible.
  • Melanieavant almost 2 years ago
    No waiting, accrual as % of time worked immediately.
  • Renee787 almost 2 years ago
    3 months if they are salaried full time employees
  • bdm2701 almost 2 years ago
    Never. None, we libertarians do not want government dictated mandatory sick leave.
  • bdm2701 almost 2 years ago
    Removed by moderator.
  • TurboSpencer almost 2 years ago
    The coverage should be left up to the private employer as they see fit. The private employers are the best qualified to determine the impact to their business and what they can or cannot afford. If they are losing people because of their policies they will change their policies appropriately.
  • fabfab almost 2 years ago
    Why would Austin want to regulate this? The reasons in the draft are not even logically sound. It will drive low-paid jobs away from Austin, to just outside the city limits. And why is there no consideration of employer size or revenue? The city is already killing small businesses with oversized regulations. And how do you hope to police this without huge costs? And why is city staff spending time on this instead of important topics for a growing city? Use city funds to care for the poor and misfortunate, but don't try to regulate things you can't possible manage or foresee the ramifications of.
  • gift almost 2 years ago
    This is a matter that rightfully should be worked out between employer and employee, not dictated by city government--IF the option is even considered appropriate for a certain company.
  • cstrombe almost 2 years ago
    Whenever the employer decides. The city should not be involved in private company policy.
  • someguy almost 2 years ago
    Perhaps folks would feel differently about this if they realized they would be the ones paying for it. Any increase in the cost of doing business for employers will reflect in the price of their goods & services. If it's a business selling to private individuals, the price will go up for those individuals. If the City is the one buying the service, then everyone is paying for it with their property tax dollars- directly contributing to the increased taxes everyone always laments. You can't have it both ways- you either let the market drive prices down, or you artificially place requirements on the employer/employee relationship and drive prices up. There is no middle ground.
  • KMTBERRY almost 2 years ago
    Immediately
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, KMTBERRY. -Moderator
  • Bo Delp almost 2 years ago
    Workers should gain access to paid sick days and/or accrual immediately, and if a worker leaves the company that should be able to be carried over.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, Bo--to clarify, do you mean that an employee would be able to use paid sick leave at a different employer if it had accrued unused paid sick leave at their previous employer? -Moderator
  • mattwgore almost 2 years ago
    "Waiting periods" make things even more cumbersome for employers. The city should not regulate this at all (smart employers will work with their employees to reach mutually beneficial agreements on their own) but any regulation that is implemented should be extremely simple. If it is not simple, then workers are less likely to benefit from them and employers are less likely to hire new people. Only lawyers benefit from complicated laws.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, mattwgore. -Moderator
  • Wendykalthoff almost 2 years ago
    There should not be a prohibitionary period.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, Wendy. -Moderator
  • Feedback2017 almost 2 years ago
    One year
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, Feedback2017; do you mean an employee should receive paid sick leave after one year of service to that employer? -Moderator
  • sellerle almost 2 years ago
    Workers should have paid sick time available to them at the on-set of their work. It should automatically be provided.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, sellerle. -Moderator
  • sbz almost 2 years ago
    As soon as possible! There should be no waiting or probational period - you can't control when you get sick. Regardless of when you started your job, going to work sick is just as damaging to your health and that of your coworkers, customers and family.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, sbz. -Moderator
  • kyleafh almost 2 years ago
    This should depend entirely on what the business has decided.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, kyleafh. -Moderator
  • Vivian Martin almost 2 years ago
    Can start earning upon hiring, but cannot use until after employee completes the probationary period.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, Vivian. -Moderator
  • ayork almost 2 years ago
    Accrue immediately upon employement.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, ayork. -Moderator
  • JasonLockhart almost 2 years ago
    At whatever time is determined by the worker and the employer during salary/benefit negotiations. The city has no role in these negotiations.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, JasonLockhart. -Moderator
  • mturpin almost 2 years ago
    All PTO decisions should be made by employers not the city. Employers know better when they need to pay employees PTO to compete for talent. The city should not mandate that any employer be compelled to offer any benefit.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments. -Moderator
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, Mturpin. -Moderator
  • Gary Stroud about 2 years ago
    After the employee starts to work and completes their probationary period they should have a bucket of hours that they can use for sick time.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Larry Schooler almost 2 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, Gary. -Moderator