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Policy change costs workers sick time donations

Company policy at its best should aim to protect the interests of the business while still preserving the rights and requirements of the company's employees. A business cannot be successful without its workers, so it makes sense to take their needs into consideration. Unfortunately for many workers in Indiana, policies are often updated without due consideration of their repercussions, leading to employment disputes and bad feeling in the workplace.

In a county in California a new policy has resulted in the loss of donated sick time and vacation time for several workers suffering from serious illnesses. Under the former rules, there was no limit to the number of hours that could be donated or received by workers. This meant that when one of the employees, a juvenile corrections officer, was diagnosed with cancer, his friends and colleagues could all do their bit to help.

By donating their own vacation and sick time, these workers hoped to enable their colleague to take the time off work required for his chemotherapy treatments, without fear of loss of earnings. Under the new ruling, however, employees can only receive 80 or 120 hours of donated time each year, depending on their bargaining unit. Any additional donated time is lost. Furthermore, workers are limited to being able to donate up to a maximum of 40 hours.

The county claims that the move is to limit abuse of the system, but it has been of significant detriment to employees with conditions that require them to take significant time off work. For some of them, this means hefty insurance costs in order to extend their employer health plans to cover the time when they can't be at work.

This may be happening in another state, but workers in Indiana can recognize the distress caused to these employees. Unjust actions on the part of an employer should always be called into question. If you feel you have suffered injustice in your place of work, an attorney may be able to help you challenge your employer. In this way you can work toward a fairer settlement which favors both you and your employer.

Source: Insurance News Net, "Fresno County workers lose lengthy sick time donations," Marc Benjamin, May 17, 2014

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