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Can I Sue My Employer for No Sick Leave?

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

A recent study revealed that workers who do not receive paid sick leave are more likely to get injured at work.

The study's findings should not be that surprising as you're likely to be unfocused and distracted when you are sick.

Still, as more employees lose their rights to paid time off, more workers are taking the risk by working sick so that they will not lose any pay. But if you get injured at work, can you blame your employer and sue for not giving you paid time off?

Generally, you will probably have a hard time trying to sue your employer for not providing a benefit like paid sick leave. If your employer allows you to take time off when you are sick, you likely cannot sue if you choose not to take the time off because you want to get paid.

However, if your employer puts pressure on you to work despite your sickness, you may have a case. Employers are required to have a safe workplace for their employees. This includes having well maintained equipment and a safe working environment. One could argue that the employer may even have the responsibility of protecting you from yourself if you are obviously ill and in a position that could be dangerous.

For example, if you operate a piece of heavy machinery, and your employer sees that you are on the verge of passing out, your employer may have the burden of stepping in and telling you to go home.

So while you generally can't sue because you were not given paid sick leave, you may be able to sue for dangerous working conditions. Suing for work injuries is extremely fact specific and if you have any questions regarding a specific case, you should consult a personal injury attorney.

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