kamadu

Disability versus vacation days

12 posts in this topic

My company has a requirement that if you take disability, you first have to use up all your unused sick/personal days. Then any sick time you take off the rest of the year is unpaid. Normally, I use maybe one or two days a year, but I always like to have them at the end of the year in case I get sick in December. Any sick days we don't use get rolled into a disability bank.

So, here's my dilemma/question. Do you have to use disability when you have surgery? Or can I use vacation days? I've been at my company 20 years, so have a lot of vacation, with 25 vacation days I haven't used yet this year.  I would prefer to use those, but am unsure of the rules on this.

 

My HR department is not always very respectful of employee's privacy, so I am leery about having to deal with disability paperwork with them.

 

Anyone have any ideas on this?

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If you have the time, use your time they can't ask you questions about.  I would probably use one week of sick, followed by three weeks of vacation.  If you are able to schedule it that way.  By the forth week, it will feel like vacation too.

 

Good luck, I didn't want people at work asking weird questions, so I didn't tell them more than they needed to know.

Townmama likes this

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Unless your company has a rule about how many days vacation you can take at one time, I can't imagine why they would care if you used vacation for this purpose.  I do know that lots of companies do not allow sick days to be used in conjunction with vacation days, but you could check with your HR dept about that.

 

My company lumps all the time off into "pto" so its not an issue as to why you are using it.

 

If you did decide to use disability, and had to use up all of your sick days, why couldn't you use your unused vacation days if you got sick later on?

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Unless your company has a rule about how many days vacation you can take at one time, I can't imagine why they would care if you used vacation for this purpose.  I do know that lots of companies do not allow sick days to be used in conjunction with vacation days, but you could check with your HR dept about that.

 

My company lumps all the time off into "pto" so its not an issue as to why you are using it.

 

If you did decide to use disability, and had to use up all of your sick days, why couldn't you use your unused vacation days if you got sick later on?

Thanks for that. I think I'm going to talk to my boss about it Monday and ask if I can go the vacation route, before I talk to HR.

 

We used to have the PTO only, then they separated it into sick/personal and vacation.  My company has a rule that once you've used up your sick/personal time, any sick days the rest of the year are taken without pay. Vacation cannot be used without at least 48 hours notice, though they prefer two weeks notice for all vacation days taken. That's why I tend to hoard the sick days for the end of the year. I would hate to get the flu in December and be stuck with no sick days.

 

If you have the time, use your time they can't ask you questions about.  I would probably use one week of sick, followed by three weeks of vacation.  If you are able to schedule it that way.  By the forth week, it will feel like vacation too.

 

Good luck, I didn't want people at work asking weird questions, so I didn't tell them more than they needed to know.

My company is like the worst high school socially, with cliques and gossip galore. I tell very few people personal info about me and I'm very happy that way. MJ raised a good point about them allowing me to combine sick and vacation days, so I'll have to look into that to see what my company says on it.

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It's all crazy...my company went from separate sick/vacation time to lumping it all as PTO. Plus, it's use it or lose it. I was in CA for WLS....the state pays for the STD. You put in personal leave request for work and no need to use PTO. I didn't tell anyone...of course people figured it out when I can back and lost weight quickly. Eventually, the jealously got to be too much and I got a different job where no one knew me as fat. I don't hide that i've had WLS...but I don't automatically tell people unless it's of some benefit. People don't believe me anyways until I show them pictures....and even then, they say I Photoshopped them :)

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My sick time, vacation, etc is all lumped into PTO, so I used that for the first two weeks, then went to short term disability for the last two weeks.  I am fairly new at my job (started at the end of January) so I was about 18 hours shy of having enough PTO to make the two weeks before STD kicked in.  We have a program here where people could donate PTO to me and it's pretty much anonymous.  Now I do work in a small town hospital, and coming back with a pretty significant weight loss...people put two and two together and figured out what I had done.  But everyone has been so supportive and cheering me on!

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Thanks to everyone for the input. I talked to my boss first, then to HR. The boss was fine with using vacation days later in the year if I needed sick days, so we both figured using the disability route was best.  Happily, the super confusing employee manual made everything sound much worse than it is. I've been at my company 20 years, so I qualify for 90% short term disability, after my sick days are used up. Then my unused sick days from previous years that had rolled into a disability bank (which I have over 250 hours in) is used to make up the last 10% pay, so I get paid full pay while I'm out. Woo!

 

The boss was also fine with the timing, so we have a month to get my backups in place for things that can't wait for me to get back (figuring commission checks and mailing them out to sales reps being number one).

 

So relieved!

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You can do whatever you want.

Use vacation or collect disability .

In NJ I collected 4 weeks disability pay.

I didn't want to use my vacation time up.

My company allows us to use vacation time if you want during Fmla leave but not required.

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Does the employer ultimately pay for your disability pay? I know I have STD and LTD..but I am afraid to request it =( Do employers get mad if you use it? Does it cost them extra?

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vsg.Kitty - Usually, STD/LTD are part of your total compensation packaged and factored in the compensation that employees receive when they are hired.  They don't usually "get mad" when you use it, and if you go the FMLA route, even if they are annoyed, your job is protected while you are out on disability. 

rxmom2007 likes this

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I had plenty of vacation and sick leave built up. I went the FMLA route just in case of complications...thankfully none. I took a total of two weeks off.

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Within very wide and general accepted practices, your company can implement their leave policy any way they want. Unless you are in a union, you must accept their policies or find another job.

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