3. Absent Day Wages

Employers Not Required to Provide Paid Days Off

Paid sick days, paid vacation days, paid personal time off days, etc., should not be required by law. Companies should not be required to pay workers for any work day during which they do not show up for work. No work, no pay. However, job security should be guaranteed for workers who call in sick or take a vacation up to a maximum number of days per year or according to some minimum standard the government has set up and/or according to the company’s own policy, whichever is less stringent.

Pay Structure for Absent Days Should Incentivize Coming to Work 

Nevertheless, if companies do decide to pay workers for sick or vacation days, etc., they should do so at a rate that is significantly¬†below the worker’s normal wages, such as 50%. For example, if a worker would normally earn $100 per day at work, calling in sick would allow him to earn only $50, thus costing him $50 in lost wages. However, if this same worker, instead of using his sick days, saves them until the end of the year (or even indefinitely, ideally), he could be allowed to sell his sick days back to the company for $125, a pay rate significantly higher than what a normal work day would earn him. To discourage the accumulation of hundreds of days of sick or vacation time, the compensation a worker receives for not using this time and selling them back to the company should be based on the hourly wage rate the worker was receiving at the time that the sick or vacation day accrued to his banked days. Furthermore, it should not be adjusted for inflation. The longest accrued days in a banked days account would always be used first. Such policies would discourage workers from calling in sick without really being sick. Of course, it would also encourage workers who are truly sick to come to work anyway, which would be another problem. But at least the incentive to call in sick would be lessened a bit.

Days Off Should Be Lumped Into One ‘Absent Days’ Basket

There shouldn’t be separately defined sick days, vacation days, personal time off, etc. All absent days should be lumped together and just referred to as ‘absent days’. This would prevent the tendency for people to lie about the reason for requesting a day off and tend to lessen the awkward conversation/relationship between employee and employer when they illegitimately ask for a day off due to illness. However, if an employee exceeds the allowable number of days off allowed by the company, the employer should have lots of leeway (as is often the case now) in determining the validity of the claim, but also should have the ability to reassign, demote, or (if abuse of the policy is ascertained) fire the individual in question, once his/her banked days have been used up and have gone into the negative by a certain, previously specified, significant amount.

Making Up For Absent Days, Late Arrivals & Early Departures

Also, workers should be allowed to make up for absent days, late arrivals or early departures, by working extra hours (at a rate of two hours for every hour of absence, for example) on other days of their choice (with permission from management) throughout the year. They could also work to purchase hours or days to place in their ‘absent days bank’ at the same rate (two hours of work for every hour of absence allowance earned). Workers who did not give sufficient advanced notice (as defined by the employer) of any absence to the employer should be penalized for this extra burden placed on the employer by being required to pay for or purchase their absence time with significantly more hours of work, perhaps at a ratio of 2.5 or 3 hours of work for every hour of absence.


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