There is no federal law requiring private employers to provide employees with paid sick leave—a short-term salary-continuation program for employees absent because of a non-job-related illness or injury—but most employers do provide it as an important employee benefit.
Employers establishing or amending a sick leave policy should consider other disability income policies, how unused sick leave should be addressed, liability for sick leave, and general discrimination issues. When adopting a policy, employers must be sure that it fully complies with federal or state family/medical leave laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and any other applicable laws. There are many alternatives to standard sick leave policies, including flexible leave policies, no-fault attendance policies, leave donation programs, and paid-time-off banks.
Additional information on sick leave requirements for federal contractors is available.