Q: Can my employer give more sick/personal time to "high risk" employees during the COVID pandemic?
I work for a large corporation that is considered essential through the pandemic shut downs. The company generously gave all employees an additional 80 hours of sick/personal time to cover any time off wanted or needed during the pandemic. If not used, the employee will be paid for those hours. It will also give another 80 hours of sick time if an employee contracts COVID-19. In addition to that, an extra 160 hours of sick/personal time was given to employees who are considered "high risk" in regards to the virus. Those 'high risk" employees do not have to use the extra sick/personal time and can be paid for that unused sick/personal time at the end of the year. I would like to know if it is legal for the company to give the varying amounts of sick/personal time to employees. Thank you for your input.
A: Since your employer is a large corporation (500+ employees) and is considered an essential business, they are not legally required to offer any paid leave during this ongoing pandemic. Since there are no minimum standards here regarding how much paid leave employees are entitled to, your employer may implement its own system regarding the amount of leave each employee is entitled to. Thus, it is permissible for your employer to offer more paid leave to high-risk employees.
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