A New Bill Provides Employees with Paid Sick Leave for Swine Flu Illness

Updated: November 05, 2009

The Emergency Influenza Containment Act which was introduced by Congress has introduced that it will provide paid sick leave for employees that are infected by the swine flu.

"The purpose of this Act is to ensure that American workers are able to follow, without financial harm, the recommendations of their employer and public health authorities to stay home when they have symptoms of a contagious disease that may put co-workers, customers, or the public at risk", explains Congress. To read more about the new law and its employer's responsibilities, click here.

Employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave. An employer who directs an employee to leave work or not to come in to work because the employer believes the employee has swine flue symptoms. The employer is required to provide paid sick leave to the employee for each workday up to a max of 5 workdays per 12-month period for both full-time and part-time employees. This law becomes effective 15 days after becoming a law.

Employers can end their employees paid sick leave at any time, provided that employees are informed that their employers believe they are well enough to return to work. Employees can continue their leave using other sick leave policies, such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

With the ‘Emergency Influenza Containment Act' we can look at this new bill as a positive for allowing employees to collect wages while recovering from an serious illness or as a negative for employers that have to adhere to another medical leave law and could cause financial stress for struggling employers.

HR Allen is a Human Resource consulting and outsourcing firm providing Human Resource Management and EEO/Affirmative Action Compliance services since 2005. We deliver quality and value through innovative, cost-effective services designed to reduce cost and time consuming administrative functions.

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