Workplace Diversity: When to Provide Paid Leave

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16 September 2014 - 17:32, by , in Uncategorized, Comments off

With the holiday season upon us, many employees look forward to time off. However, as a small business owner, it is your choice whether or not to provide paid vacation and sick days to employees. With the exception of federal workers, there is nothing that requires an employer to provide paid vacation, or even a day off for popular holidays. Though there’s no law that requires compensated leave, there is a critical advantage that employers find comes with offering these benefits. When creating time off policies and managing workplace diversity, consider three advantages for your workers and your business.

3 Benefits to Providing Paid Leave

  • Holidays

As many traditions go, the holidays are a special time of the year when families and friends make plans to come together and celebrate the occasion. Providing paid days off for employees not only gives management the opportunity to celebrate, but there is an incentive and appeal for individuals to apply to your company. Along with the main 6 federal holidays, make arrangements to accommodate workplace diversity with employees who require time off for religious holidays.

  • Sick Days

Providing paid sick days to employees is another benefit that is common amongst businesses, but not required by law. These days are to be applied when an individual is too ill to come into work. Health officials believe that staying home when you’re sick will limit the number of people the illness is spread to, and can prevent the ailment from getting worse. By providing the average number of 4-6 paid sick days a year, your team will benefit.

Be sure to check your city and state for mandatory sick leave laws.  While sick leave is not federally mandated, some jurisdictions have their own laws. For example, in California, beginning July 2015, employers must provide all employees 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  (AB 1522)

  • Vacation Days

Although, as an employer, there is nothing that requires you to provide vacation days, there are benefits to doing so. The US Travel Association has done studies that show when companies offer vacation days, employee productivity, workplace morale and retention rates increase. Observe the guidelines for California’s vacation rules as instructed by the Department of Industrial Relations.

When creating a policy that allows for diversity in the workplace and includes time off for holidays, sick days and vacation days, include the rules and guidelines in an employee handbook for all team members to have access to. Does your company offer time off with pay? Share your experiences and employer insights in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Asha Wilkerson is the founder of The Wilkerson Law Office. Ms. Wilkerson provides skilled advice and counsel to for-profit, non-profit, and faith-based organizations in the areas of business and employment law. The mission of The Wilkerson Law Office, is to preserve the longevity of your business by ensuring that every aspect of your organization is legally sound and operating in compliance with state and federal law.

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