Chapter 4

Employee Leave

  • Federal, state, and local laws may require employers to provide leave, including sick leave. Many companies will offer paid leave. Making sure you’re doing what’s required (and expected) can help you avoid some costly mistakes.

    Watch: Employee Leave
    Did you know?
    While there is no national law entitling workers to paid leave, many laws exist on the city, local, and state level that give employees access to paid leave. Check what’s required in your area.


    • Refusing employee requests for medical, family or sick leave
    • Paid sick leave accrual not being tracked accurately
    • Terminating an employee for attending jury duty or other activities that are subject to protection as well as a way for employees to check their leave balance that meets applicable state rules
    • No transparency in the policies regarding leave
    • Refusing to cover an employee’s health insurance during a leave of absence if required by law or employer policy


    • Elaborate or manual leave request and approval systems that drain employees’ and managers’ time
    • Staffing confusion and shortages as multiple people take leave at the same time
    • Reduced employee morale if they feel they’re missing out on leave they should be entitled to
    • Employees take more leave than they’re entitled to, due to poor tracking

    What Good Looks Like

    • A simple way to track and manage employee leave ― both paid and unpaid
    • Staying up to date with current and changing leave legislation
    • A clear leave policy documented in an employee handbook and communicated consistent with notice requirements, as well as a way for employees to check their leave balance
    • Data stored in a secure, but easily accessible system