Is contributing to a sick leave pool a gimmick?

Well. a friend of mine was recently able to take the time off work to donate a kidney to her childhood friend because of donations made by coworkers to the shared leave pool where she works.

It wasn’t a medical necessity on her part and so she would not have been eligible for disability, I don’t think. She could not afford to take the time off unpaid either. At least in this case, it’s not a gimmick, but a real lifesaver.

Any civilized country but the US you mean. There’s no requirement in this country for vacation time, though I wish there was since I’ve only worked two places that offered any in the past 13 years…

I’m generally in favor of them.

When I was young I was almost never sick. I might get 4 hours off in a year. Some years I had no hours off. I would have loved to donate to help others.

When I think I miss living in the US, I read threads like this and remember, no, I don’t.

In accounting terms, it stays a liability, I’d think? If the point in use it or lose it AL or SL is to limit the liability, that same liability that they are trying to limit is just transferred elsewhere in the balance sheet.

So yes, it’s silly, from a strict accounting perspective.

I DO understand the phrase “cut a check”. My problem was that I did not understand your suggestion that the employer could

My question, better phrased, was: What would the employer be paying the employee for? In your case, where an employee “has had a catastrophic event”, and will probably be out of work for the next eight weeks, and that employee only has three weeks of vacation and sick time accrued, why on earth would the employer be pay him for five weeks of recuperation?

But now I see that you did not mean for the employer to cut a check for the employee who has had the catastrophic event. Rather, you are suggesting that the employer should cut a check for the healthy employee, for a dollar amount equivalent to his unused sick time.

In my opinion, the answer to your question is this:

Many employers are relatively willing to go without their staff for a while, even though they are fully aware that this cuts into the company’s productivity. But they are NOT willing to pay out any more money than they have to.

Other employers have a different philosophy, that as long as you work it into the budget, there’s really no difference between paying the employee 52 weeks worth of salary when he works only 50 weeks, vs. paying him 54 weeks of salary when he worked the whole year with no vacation.

Because of this difference in philosophy, you’ll find different policies at different companies: At some, the employees can bank their unused time off forever, and then they get a really big payout when all that unused time is converted to a check. And the employer doesn’t mind (or shouldn’t mind) because for all those years, he has been banking that accrued time in a special account for this purpose. But other companies, with other philosophies, have a “use it or lose it” policy. They’ll let you take off of work for vacation and sick days, but they can’t bear the thought of giving you extra money just because you worked a lot.

To be fair, I suppose sometimes the “use it or lose it” policy is intended to encourage employees to take the vacations which they sorely need. But I’m too much of a cynic to believe that this is often the true motivation.

And that’s why I think some employers will let their employees pool their days off, because as long as no extra money is being paid, why not look like a nice guy.

I often read the various notices which the Department of Labor mandates to be posted. They have all sorts of information about being paid on time, and for overtime, and meal breaks, and other requirements. But I’ve NEVER seen any requirement for vacation time. It’s like health insurance - a nice benefit, but totally optional.

Which “US states require employers to give” vacation time, in your experience?

I think sick leave pool leaves too much room for abuse. How do you determine who gets it? What if one person is chronically ill and cleaned out the fund every year and when the person that donated for ten years has a heart attack, there is nothing for them to take?

My company doesn’t have a policy in place but every once in a while someone will go around asking for donations for a specific person who has an issue. Since we are only around 25 or so, that is easy to keep track of and seems to work well. Although one time someone came in and said his sick day was worth more than the employee he was donating to so they should get 1.5 days instead of just one. I advised him not to donate if he feels that way.

The OP said their “Boss” wanted to implement this policy. Is this some sort of impromptu policy that he/she wants to implement for your group, or is this a Company policy change that your Boss is implementing? If the former, your boss could be creating a lot of problems for him/herself with HR.