Answer: Your employees can’t have it both ways, ruled the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Employees aren’t entitled to "on call"-type compensation unless the employees can prove that their activities were severely restricted by the requirement that they stay at home. Why? Here were the court’s reasons:
- Sick or injured employees are not fit to work, are not "engaged to wait" at home for work, and therefore are not working.
- An employer may define compensable sickness or injury as a condition sufficiently severe that it requires a person to stay at home. An employee who claims to be sick or injured to that extent, and therefore unable to work, may be required to behave in accordance with the representation ("I’m too sick to work") that led the employer to grant the leave.
- It's the physical limitations that confine the sick employee to home; all the employer does is demand that employees end their leave and come back to work when they are at last able and eager to roam about like healthy people.
Cite: Bradley DeBraska, et al. v. City of Milwaukee, 7thCir 1999, 139 LC 33,948.
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