The Tennessee Sick Leave Law contains provisions covering the leave benefits of an employee experiencing health issues that can affect his or her work. Such provisions give employees a sense of job security while they seek medical help and recuperate.
Under Tennessee law, a company or employer with 50 or more employees must grant its workers 12 weeks’ worth of leave. Though considered unpaid leave, this will give qualifying employees some time off to do the following:
- Assist the employee’s immediate family member (parent, child, and spouse) who is experiencing serious medical conditions
- Recover from an illness or condition that requires medical attendance or check-ups from the hospital and other healthcare facilities
This law also covers an employee whose spouse just gave birth to their child and needs extra help looking after the infant for a couple of weeks after birth.
That said, an employee must be qualified before he or she can avail of the FMLA. Some of the requirements include:
- Working with the company for at least 12 months
- Rendering 1,250 hours of work within 12 months of employment before the filing of the FMLA
The Tennessee Sick Leave Law does not impose regulations before private employers or establishments to grant their employees paid sick leaves and additional leave rights.
Even so, there are huge businesses and numerous employers who grant their employees sick leaves. Such leaves help sick employees recover faster or attend to the needs of their loved ones with serious health conditions.
Additionally, these employment perks allow employees to consider applying to the company because it is considered incentives that will help them have a work-life balance.
When an employer provides employment benefits, such as paid sick leaves, it will require a list of qualifications and conditions. Such requirements must be clearly stated in the policy handbooks of the company. It must also contain guidelines to ensure that the welfare of the employees is protected while giving the employer a sense of security.
Specific federal laws cover public employees working with the government and the public sector. These laws contain provisions concerning paid sick leave, annual leave balance, employee benefit, tax credit, and employee premium. On top of that, they talk about public health, health coverage continuation law, and bereavement policy.
As mentioned, Tennessee Sick Leave Law may govern any employer or business establishment with a minimum of 50 employees. The employees must also meet the tenure required before they file for FMLA.
Even workers in government and educational institutions may avail this employment benefit under the law. This encompasses disability benefits such as visual disability, additional rights for contract workers, and legal rights.
Permitted Uses of FMLA in Tennessee Sick Leave Law
Before an employee can avail of the sick leave benefits under the Family and Medical Leave, it is important to know the meaning of a serious medical health condition. This is the main requirement to be granted paid or unpaid sick leaves.
FMLA covers only limited health problems. These include:
- Heart problems
Also included are terminal illnesses that impair an employee to work regularly and efficiently, which may later on make them disabled employees.
Other varying circumstances will determine whether an employee’s health issue is considered serious. Under the sick leave provision, a health problem is considered serious when:
- The condition hinders the employee from going to work or from fulfilling his or her duties for more than three days
- The employee requires continuous medical treatment from a physician or any healthcare provider and must be admitted to a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or hospice
- The employee requires treatment or therapy from a healthcare facility
Moreover, employees incapacitated to work due to pregnancy, which falls under the Tennessee Maternity Leave, are also covered. They will also get additional leave days for the urgent need to provide prenatal care for their newborn child.
On the other hand, if the employee is experiencing a minor cold, cough, or fever, it may not be covered by FMLA and other employment laws. That’s because these illnesses do not fall under the conditions and sick time set under the law.
Suppose a minor health problem causes a full-time employee to have a hard time working and rendering the services the company needs for more than three days. In that case, they can file for an FMLA.
Accrual of Sick and Safe Leave
There are various circumstances wherein the extent a paid sick leave benefit under the Tennessee Sick Leave Law may be allowed. The category of employment, such as a private employer, part-time employee, temporary employee, and regular employee, will affect the accrual of sick and safe leave.
Workers must study and understand the employee handbook, internal policies, established policy of the company, and employment contracts to know their rights and benefits.
There is a recent update amended the FMLA regarding the armed forces and people in the military service. An employee with an immediate family member requiring therapy or medical treatment from a health care facility is entitled to up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave.
On the other hand, a total of 10 consecutive hours of paid sick leave monthly is granted to employees working with the government or public sector. Such provisions must be included in the handbook of the company.
For the employee to qualify for sick leave, they or an immediate family member who needs assistance with their medical condition must seek medical attention and treatment from health care providers. Additional documentation and forms must be complied with before FMLA is granted to employees.
Prohibition on Discrimination
Whether full-time employees or regular part-time employees, workers who applied for sick leave must be reinstated to the same position they held before they filed a Family and Medical Leave Act leave.
The Tennessee labor law prohibits discrimination against employees who took some time off from work to get the necessary medical treatment they need or to look after their immediate family member. It is also important to ensure the safety of employees and provide humane conditions of employment.
Furthermore, it should not be the cause of separation from employment, reduction of the employee salary, or the displacement of employees.
There must be disclosures to employees and discussions about their privileges of employment. Promoting employee job protection, observing minimum wage, and securing the employment relationship are important. Public employers and private-sector employers may also provide health insurance coverage.