There are no federal laws requiring employers to provide employees with paid time off for personal reasons, however many employers provide personal days to their workers. It is up to the corporation to decide policies relating to paid time off, which are usually outlined in an employee handbook or contract. Without specific guidelines on this type of paid leave, employees should be free to take a personal paid day without having to explain their reason to the employer.
Paid personal days are usually provided for employees to tend to personal business that cannot be completed outside of a standard work day. Reasons for taking a personal day can include jury duty, medical testing, helping a child or family member, or completing a home repair project. In some cases, an employee may use paid time off to interview with another company if they are seeking new employment. If an employer does not provide specific guidelines to how personal paid time off can be used, is the employee obligated to tell their employer the specific reason whenthe time off is requested?
The answer to this question is not a straightforward one. In essence, a personal day is just that, a day that the employee requests to have off for personal reasons. An employer that demands to know why the employee needs the time off in order to have it approved creates a delicate situation. If the employee refuses to reveal the reason, does the employer have the right to fire them, or to retaliate by not approving the paid time off? The employee, on the other hand, must decide if refusing to comply with the employer’s request is worth the risk of confrontation.
The situation can get tricky for at-will employees. Those who are hired at-will can be terminated at any time, without cause. In this case, an employee who refuses an employer’s request for information regarding a personal day can have their employment terminated. Employees who have employment contracts, or employers that have employee handbooks that specifically outline the reasons for personal time off can be justified in taking action for non-compliance with company policies.
Most employers realize that offering paid time off motivates employees to be honest and responsible. When employees are not given an option for a paid personal day, some of them may resort to calling in sick when they need to tend to personal business. Some employers offer their workers paid time off in relation to hours worked. In this case, the time is not specified as personal, vacation, or sick time. Employees in this case are free to take the time without explanation, unless notice of corporate policy stating otherwise is made available to the employee.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Offer Counsel and Representation to those Wrongfully Terminated
If you or someone you know believes you have been terminated from your job without just cause, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can help you claim justice. Our experienced team has decades of experience handling some of the most complex employment law cases in the area.
Call us at 215-569-1999, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Center City Philadelphia allowing us to serve clients throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.