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Flu Got You Down? The FMLA Prescription for Paid Sick Days

Posted by Amber Boyd | Sep 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

It starts with chills, body aches, and fever. Before you know it, you're down for the count with the dreaded flu. All you want to do is curl up under the covers and sleep it off. But can you really afford to miss work when you're not feeling well? This flu season, don't let lost wages make you even more miserable. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has the prescription for paid sick days when you need them most.

While the FMLA only guarantees unpaid leave, it does give you the right to job-protected time off if you get slammed by the flu. 

That means up to 12 weeks off without losing your position, seniority or health insurance. But how will you pay the bills and keep food in the fridge when you have no income coming in?

This is where the FMLA's allowance for substitutions can save you. The law permits you to use already earned or accrued paid vacation, personal and sick days while out on FMLA leave. So if you have sick days available, the flu is a valid reason to take advantage. Just provide the required medical certification from your doctor confirming the illness.

Some employers also offer additional paid FMLA leave beyond accrued time off. So be sure to review your employee handbook or speak with HR to understand all available options if the flu has knocked you off your feet. Taking paid sick leave can allow you to prioritize recovery without worrying about lost earnings.

Don't power through flu symptoms and spread the misery around the office. Follow the FMLA prescription for utilizing paid sick days when you need rest and recuperation. Let your employer know you plan to use available leave and focus on kicking that nasty bug. With ample fluids, bed rest, and the FMLA's allowance for paid time off, you'll be back on your feet in no time.

About the Author

Amber Boyd

Amber K. Boyd is a versatile professional with strong experience in managing complex litigation matters. She founded Amber K. Boyd Attorney at Law in 2013, where she is the sole practitioner. Ms. Boyd specializes in employment law with a focus on discrimination cases. She also has deep expertise ...


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