Employers need to know what to do when they have an employee is sick and will be out for an extended period of time. First, the employer needs to determine if a worker’s compensation claim should be filed. However, this is only the beginning of the process. There are numerous other situations an employer may encounter that he or she will not know how to deal with. The following are a few examples of these types of situations.


A Worker’s Compensation Claim

When a worker’s compensation claim is filed, the employer must take steps to ensure the process is handled correctly. Did the employee follow the proper steps before filing the claim? Is he or she eligible for a claim? These and many other questions need to be answered at this time. Paige & Campbell can be of great help to employers who have concerns about a claim that is to be filed or one that is already being processed.


Pay Raises

An employer may wonder if he or she should give an employee on long-term sick leave a pay raise. The first thing to consider at this time is how other employees have been treated in the past. If this employee is treated differently, a discrimination case may arise. For this reason, an employer should always review similar cases from the past to ensure a claim of this type cannot be made. Next, the employer needs to determine who is eligible for a pay raise.

If all employees are getting a raise, the person on sick leave should not be excluded. If pay raises are based on employee performance, consider the individual’s performance before he or she went out on sick leave and make a judgment based on that. Keep in mind that the illness that is forcing the employee to miss work could have played a role in their performance and weigh this accordingly when making the decision on a pay raise as well.


Employers often wish to know if and when they should contact employees who are on long-term sick leave. Again, this question depends on the circumstances. The employee should be made aware of any changes in the company that affect them, but doing so could lead to stress for the employee and impede their recovery. The employer needs to take into consideration the timetable for the employee’s return and the urgency of the communication.

If the employee will be back at work soon and the information is not vital, it may be best to wait until their return. Furthermore, if contacting the employee could delay their return as the information interferes with their recovery, it is best to wait and allow them to recover before speaking to them. If the matter is urgent, the employee ought to be contacted right away. However, his or her health needs to be considered at this time and the information imparted in a manner that is designed to cause less stress to the sick individual.

Employers must take care to protect their organization when dealing with an employee on sick leave. The goal is to find the solution that is most favorable to the employer while ensuring the employee is treated fairly. If any questions arise regarding how to achieve this outcome, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice. It’s always best to err on the side of caution in situations such as these.