Bill Description: Senate Bill 1294 would impose new regulations on companies that provide sick leave to their employees.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?
Senate Bill 1293 creates 44-906, Idaho Code, to impose new regulations on companies that provide sick leave to their employees. Specifically, these companies would be forbidden to "count earned or accrued sick leave taken in accordance with the employer's written sick leave policy as an absence that results in discipline or any other adverse action" or "restrict an employee from using earned or accrued sick leave for the employee's illness, injury, health condition, or need for medical diagnosis."
While these requirements are most likely in line with most companies' existing policies and practices, they have the effect of limiting Idaho's "at-will" employment status.
The Idaho Department of Labor explains the existing standard: "Idaho is a 'work at will' state. This means there is no set length for an employment relationship and either the employer or the employee may end it at any time, with or without notice; with or without cause."
Under the provisions of this law, an employer would be prohibited from using its discretion to end the employment relationship with an employee based on that person’s use (or possibly even misuse) of sick time. Senate Bill 1293 does not define the scope of "an employee's illness, injury, health condition, or need for medical diagnosis," which means an employee who regularly calls in sick and claims it's due to an ongoing health condition might be impossible to fire.
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