Brandon, MS asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Mississippi

Q: My employer just issued a new handbook. In it, it states that you are allowed to used sick leave for immediate family.

They state that you can use sick leave for immediate family (if you need to be off because they are sick or you need to take them to the doctor), they do not state what is considered immediate family. They have told numerous employees that you can not use it for parents just spouse and children. If you look up the definition of immediate Family it states that it is parent, spouse, grandparent, child, etc. Since they don't specify can I use it for parents and show them the definition? How would this work?

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Joseph Stiegler
Charles Joseph Stiegler
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • New Orleans, LA

A: The company is free to define "immediate family" however it wants for the sake of its own policy. I agree that most people would consider parents to be immediate family, but the company is not legally required to give you sick leave for your parents' illness.

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