From Super Bowl Sunday to Paid Sick Leave Monday

How many employees at your company called out sick today? I suspect it’s many more than on a typical Monday. An estimated 13.9 million Americans will call out sick today, the day after the Super Bowl, according to a recent survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and Mucinex. About one in five employees have reported that they have called out sick the day after the Super Bowl, according to the survey.

It seems that many have declared Super Bowl Monday their own personal holiday. Paid sick leave laws enable these absences by making calling out a low to no-risk undertaking. “I am sick today. I cannot come to work” is all PSL laws require for an employee to get a Super Bowl pass from attendance policies.

pretzel-3093219_1920An employee who uses PSL time has no need to worry about cross-examination by the boss concerning the reason for the absence. PSL laws prohibit employers from asking or requiring any information about the condition for which PSL time is used.

No need for an employee who calls out to be concerned about a request for medical documentation either. PSL laws, generally, prohibit employers from requiring employees to produce medical documentation to substantiate the absence unless the employee has been out at least three days.

While every jurisdiction, I suspect, would proclaim that its PSL law does not sanction fraud and that an employer need not tolerate fraud ever, even on Super Bowl Monday, by requiring employers to take an employee’s word about the need for leave, and prohibiting further inquiry or substantiation of the need for leave, PSL laws are huge, perhaps insurmountable, obstacles for an employer wanting to investigate PSL fraud.

With so much absence on Super Bowl Monday, and lost productivity from those who manage to get to work, some have suggested making Super Bowl Monday a national holiday. That might make sense, After all, no employee should have to choose between recovering from Super Bowl festivities and a paycheck, should they?