Currently, there is no Wyoming sick leave law that requires public and private employers to provide this benefit to their employees. That said, there is nothing that prevents them from giving it either.
Sick leave is integral to a healthy employee benefits program as it can attract the best people to work for a company. That is why many companies provide it to their workers even if not required.
While there is no Wyoming sick leave law, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA applies to the state. It guarantees qualified full-time employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave every year.
Here are the conditions for the family medical leave employee eligibility:
- The employee has been working for the company for at least 12 months.
- The requesting employee has accumulated at least 1,250 hours of work within the 12-month period.
- At least 50 other employees work within 75 miles from the employee’s job site.
The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA determines how many compensable hours the employee has earned. It is important to note that the FMLA has additional benefits for military employees and military families on active duty status.
These provisions are designed to provide added protection for people in military service or those with military-related duties.
The US Department of Labor administers this benefit for most nonexempt employees. However, the Office of Personnel Management deploys it for most federal employees and government employees.
Coverage Specifications Employers
The FMLA covers all government agencies, public and private schools up to the secondary level, and private employers. However, there are a few requirements for employers from the private sector that they need to meet, namely:
- The company must have 50 employees or more.
- Aside from the employer size, the employees must have worked for the company in 20 or more work weeks in the current or previous calendar year.
An employee is considered to have worked the whole week even if they worked for only a part of it. Also, the workweeks do not have to be consecutive. These are the provisions of the FMLA for covered employers.
For public agencies and covered schools, the FMLA applies regardless of the employer size or the number of government employees.
Eligible workers in the private sector and government employees can access the FMLA benefit for the following purposes:
- Take some time because of various medical reasons, including illnesses or incapacity due to pregnancy.
- Attend to their child, spouse, or parent who needs medical care.
- Bond with a newborn child within one year from the date of birth.
- Spend time with a child recently placed for foster care.
- Attend to qualifying emergencies involving a family member on covered active duty.
Additionally, qualifying emergencies for military employees include caring for the injured or those in the process of leaving the covered service.
Covered public and private employers must provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave.
In addition, the employer must maintain the group health benefits during the leave. It includes any health plan contributed to or by the employer like dental plans, mental health care, and surgical care.
That said, this provision does not apply to any health insurance where the employee paid for the medical insurance premiums independently. So if there were no employer contribution to the employee premium plan before the leave, the FMLA would not cover it.
Finally, if the company changes its health plan while an employee is on FMLA leave, the employee also gets entitled to the new benefits. It includes changes in the dental plans, employer matching contributions, and more.
Responsibility of Employees
While public and private employers have a long list of obligations when it comes to providing FMLA leaves, employees also have some responsibilities.
Like vacation time, which the employee must plan ahead, the employer must receive advance notice before the FMLA leave. For surgeries and pregnancy, the employee should inform the company 30 days ahead of time.
If the FMLA leave is unexpected and the employee has less than 30 days, they should provide advance notice as soon as possible.
The employee does not have to ask for an FMLA leave for the first request but must provide all the relevant information. Doing so will give the employee the chance to prepare in case the first and succeeding leave turns out to be FMLA-covered.
Additionally, the employee does not have to disclose to the employer what the diagnosis is. However, they must provide enough information proving that the leave falls under the FMLA.
Constant dialogue between the employee and the employer is key during the leave. Any changes to the leave have to be shared by the employee.
Periodic updates leading to the return to work will make the FMLA process much smoother.
Employer Notification Responsibilities
Providing sick leave benefits is not just an important tool for healthy employee relations. It is a big part of employee rights.
That is why it is a mandate for employers to notify eligible private and government employees about FMLA, regardless of employer size.
As mentioned, no Wyoming sick leave law exists, but every employer must post a general FMLA notice in plain view of all nonexempt employees. It should provide information about the provisions and how an employee might file a complaint with the nearest Wage and Hour Division.
Under the FMLA policies for employers, they must post this notice even if there are currently no eligible employees. Finally, it must be available in the language most employees use.
Sick Leave Accrual
Employees of the state of Wisconsin can earn eight hours of sick leave for every month of work. So it is possible to accumulate up to 12 days each year. They will be able to enjoy this benefit on top of the annual leave.
There is also unlimited accrual when it comes to sick leave. Employees get paid 50% of the accumulated leave to a maximum of 60 days upon retirement.