Post # 1
Coworker Linda and I are the only two in our department of 7 who are hourly workers. At our company, hourly workers are given 6 days (48 hours) of sick time to use per year. Salaried people are on an honor system. A lot of the salaried people we work with aren’t very honorable.
Recently, our supervisor has experienced two deaths in her family within two weeks. Her dad and her mother-in-law, both in their 90s, passed away. On Wednesday in our department meeting, our supervisor said, “I will be out on Thursday for my MIL’s funeral. I think I will take a sick day on Friday. I have been getting a migrane and DH and I are just exhausted. We don’t want to get sick.”
Linda is furious. She thinks our supervisor is just “making up excuses” and that she isn’t sick and that she is abusing the sick time. Linda thinks our supervisor should have just use more bereavement time. I honestly don’t see a huge difference between the two in our salaried supervisor’s case.
I, on the other hand, think that a migrane and two deaths in my immediate family within 2 weeks would result in some sick time for me as well. But Linda’s arguement is that ours isn’t unlimited and it takes away from us so it’s different. I told her that I hoped people would have more compassion for me than she is having for our supervisor if I ever went through this kind of thing.
Maybe it’s just more the principle of the matter for Linda??
Knowing all this, what do you guys think? Is our supervisor wrong?
ETA: I made the point to Linda that on more than one occassion when we have been short of vacation time, our supervisor has allowed us to use our sick time instead. I said, I don’t see a difference from this to that.
Post # 3
My gosh, tell Linda to have a heart!! I don’t know what other circumstances your supervisor uses sick time, but that Friday seems pretty legit! I can’t imagine losing two such important members of a family within 2 weeks. She could probably use more than 1 day! That poor woman is probably exhausted. Whether or not she’s actually “sick” doesn’t matter.
Post # 4
The reason why salaried people have more flexibility with sick time is because they have to work until the job is done.
There is no “My overtime is not approved” or “its 5:00, time to go home Ill have to finish this tomorrow” So if that includes working till 10, on a Saturday or responding to their blackberry while on vacation they have to do it. Hourly employees dont have to do the extra work generally without a monetary compensation.
The upside to salary is that you do get more flexibility. an extra vacation day that goes undocumented or leave early etc. However, even salaried people get a certain number of sick days. They accrue it as the year progresses.
Post # 5
@howtobeawife: My husband (who is salaried) operates like this. I understand that there are salaried people who look for any excuse to be out the door, but some people don’t do that.
The official company policy, is that, as salaried employees, they stay late enough that the difference is made up during the course of the year.
And so far, it has been true. I can count on two fingers the times he has used his salaried benefits to not go in/cut out early, (once was because I had the flu, was pregnant, and had a 6 month old, and once was for the gender scan for our new baby) and there aren’t even numbers for how many days he has been at work until 11pm because of some catastrophe.
Add to this, the fact that three nights a week he is responsible for monitoring the situation from home until MIDNIGHT, and I could give a rats ass about what people think about this time off habits.
I think, in your situation, Linda should mind her own business, because commenting on your supervisor’s time off habits is begging for trouble. If it is bad and untrustworthy, someone will eventually see it, and if it’s not, then Linda probably doesn’t know all of the behind the scenes stuff that this woman does. Sick time vs. bereavement leave is just quibbling. Doesn’t she have anything better to worry about??
Post # 6
What is the difference anyways between using ‘sick time’ and ‘bereavement leave’.. end result is the same – she’s not at work and getting paid for it.
Post # 7
@pinkshoes: If it’s like my company, bereavement time is a set amount of days you can take off per year for bereavement. Sick time is unlimited.
My company gives 3 bereavement days, 3 personal days, and 15 earned days off, but we don’t earn sick time and it’s unlimited. Once you’ve used your bereavement, you need to use your personal or earned time off if another death should happen. So Linda probably thinks that she should use the time off designated for what she is using it for, and not the sick time, which is ‘free’.
Either way she should mind her own business. Negative talk in the office only brings others down.