Paid Sick Days May Be Used As Paid “Unsick Days” As Well

With the PSL movement moving along briskly, an online doctor appointment-booking app is seeking to start a movement to have employers give their employees an “Unsick Day.” “We believe every working American should have an Unsick Day,” according to ZocDoc’s website.

What is an Unsick Day? It is “a day off to visit the doctor when you aren’t sick. Take care of the important appointment that are easy to put off, like physicals and teeth cleanings, all with your company’s support,” according to the website.

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PSL laws typically give employees the right to use PSL for unsick time, as the Unsick Day movement defines it. For example, recently-enacted Chicago’s PSL law says a covered employee may use PSL “for the purpose of receiving….preventive medical care” or to care for a family member receiving preventive medical care. The federal Executive Order 13706 to establish paid sick leave for federal contractors has a similar provision.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act does not provide leave for routine physical examinations, eye examinations, or dental examinations. Vermont and Massachusetts also have “small necessities” laws, which allow employees to take time off for preventative medical appointments for themselves (VT) or their families (both), although the time is unpaid.

ZocDoc notes that many employees do not use the preventive care provided to them under their insurance policies, suggesting that at least some of the reason is due to workplace pressures which limit their ability to take time off. The company states that it and “forward-thinking” partners will be offering Unsick Days beginning in 2017.