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How to use up sick days at Walmart?
Old 07-18-2007, 12:05 AM   #1
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How to use up sick days at Walmart?

Hi everybody,

My wife works at Walmart. We are both quitting our jobs within the next month or two. We want to get every dollar out of Walmart as possible. She has 80 hours of sick time accumulated. She has checked if they will just pay her for the days when she quits and they said no, you just lose the sick time hours. We have been on the phone with Walmarts corporate employee services, and all they will tell her is to read the attendance policy. The attendance policy is very vague regarding sick days. Her store managers won't give her a straight answer either. They have this phone number to call when you are going to call in sick. You have to call it every day for each day you will miss. She won't get paid for taking one day off. You don't start getting paid until the second sick day. Here's the dilemna - they won't tell her if she will need a doctors note to come back to work if she takes off like 9 or 10 days to use up her sick days. So we are looking for ideas on what excuse or "illness" or "injury" she can use, without being required to go to the doctor. And if they do tell her she is required to see a doctor after she calls in, what would be a good idea for getting the doctor to give her time off work? If anyone has any experience dealing with this messed up vague policy, we would appreciate any ideas on how to beat their system without her being fired for attendance. If she gets fired, she will lose accrued vacation hours towards next year, which she would be paid for when she quits with 2 week notice.
Thanks,
Eddie
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by EddieG View Post
Hi everybody,

My wife works at Walmart. We are both quitting our jobs within the next month or two. We want to get every dollar out of Walmart as possible. She has 80 hours of sick time accumulated.
From a what could happen perspective - If you are going to quit and do not need to work anyone (I saw your other post)... You could try and see what happens. OTOH, why go to great lengths to try to collect the sick days. Walmart probably does not pay much anyway (assuming it is an in store job). Why stress out about it!

Personally IMHO - Different companies have different policies for sick days. Where I work, sick days are for illness or medical situations only (it is fairly clear). I have always used my sick days for just that... when I am sick (liberal interpretation). It is a benefit that is consumed if I become ill. Not money to be gamed from the company. I am not going to lower myself to try to get it from them (even if I had a healthy rationalization for doing so).
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:00 AM   #3
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I believe that chinaco's rationale is correct. Sick days are to be used when you are too sick to go to work. You should be glad that you are well.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:22 AM   #4
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Personally IMHO - Different companies have different policies for sick days. Where I work, sick days are for illness or medical situations only (it is fairly clear). I have always used my sick days for just that... when I am sick (liberal interpretation). It is a benefit that is consumed if I become ill. Not money to be gamed from the company. I am not going to lower myself to try to get it from them (even if I had a healthy rationalization for doing so).
Same here. It was a matter of moral integrity for me. I refused to use/abuse sick leave. It was given as a benefit, and abuse of the policy finally brought about a severe sick leave cut. We were given 30 sick days per year, and any unused sick days could be carried over and 'banked' at the end of the year (up to a certain amount...the 'cap' was removed a couple of years ago). Some of my former fellow employees figured they "deserved" to take off most if not all of the days each year. The employer 'hinted' for several years that the employees needed to control their abuse of the benefit, or it would be cut.

The last 2 years before I bailed out, they cut it from 30 days beginning Jan. 1st, to 'earning' 1 day per month. So thanks to the inconsiderate behavior of the "few", the "many" suffered for it! I personally went to each of the abusers, and thanked them for screwing the rest of us. Needless to say, my 'thank you' was NOT well received! But they knew EXACTLY where I, and the others, stood.

BTW, when an employee retired (not quit or got fired), we would get paid for unused, 'banked' sick days. I had 1088 hours (136 days) when I FIRE'd.....that was one SWEET chunk of change!!! Over 6 months worth of pay!

I would have had more....if the system hadn't been abused!
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:48 AM   #5
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In less diplomatic terms, you and she are becoming ensnared by petty greed. It has progressed to the point that you are considering fraudulent schemes. Three people, above, have suggested this is not a good idea. I "fourth" it. Your integrity has got to be worth more than this.

PS: It's a weird thing, but I have found that in the few times that I have "snuck" a sick day... I've ended up really BEING sick within the next few weeks. Personally, I believe in karma and that "what goes around comes around". At my age and with all my retirement plans depending on good health and getting ready to launch, I'd be petrified to get involved in what you and your wife are discussing.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:28 AM   #6
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I agree with what everyone is saying.

But one thing that you might want to check, is whether or not sick days are legitimately used (at her job) when you have a doctor's appointment or lab work to be done. Wal-Mart has health insurance, right? She will probably want a check up before she quits and I think that would be a legitimate use of sick leave. She may actually need those sick days (hopefully not, but you never know).

At my work, sick leave is for being sick and doctor/dentist appointments or lab work. It vanishes when we quit, and we don't get paid for it. I don't abuse it, but I sure don't use my vacation time to go to the doctor, either.

We only get 4 hours per two week pay period working for the feds, which adds up to about 104 hours a year - - way less than Goonie used to get working for the state. Still, it mounts up and I have quite a lot of it. If I don't need it before I retire, I can donate it to someone who has a serious illness like cancer so that they don't have to take LWOP. I think that is a great use for it!

By the way, I notice this is only your 5th post and welcome to the board! We are a little tough on people sometimes but if you stick around you'll find out we can be pretty nice, too.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:25 AM   #7
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At DH's employer they are fairly generous with sick time. Some people will use it up as it accrues and not have any accumulated. Then there are others who rarely use it and it carries over. The accumulated sick time was getting to be so large that they started offering to let you cash it in, at 50% of your hourly rate. He takes advantage of this every year, cashing in all but a weeks worth.

They also offer a sick time bonus, if you don't use any sick time in a quarter you get extra hours. He's never gotten the bonus because he used sick time for an hour here and there for appointments or lab work. I suggested that he use some of his accrued personal time for that but he feels that since it's health related it should be sick time.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:26 AM   #8
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I wouldn't claim to be sick when you are not, who knows, WM might ask for a dr note and then sue for repayment, damages, etc.

But, adding to what STR said, SL often can be used for preventive services (routine Dr appts, and the like). If you have any condition that could benefit from exercise (high blood pressure, osteopenia, etc), you could ask you physician for a script for daily "rehab". Depending on how the doc writes the script, you can take up to 1 hour/day to go to the gym for cardio and weights. This can get you started on healthy changes before FIRE.

But, in the end, these few hours of SL don't have a high dollar value and are not worth trying to squeeze the time.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:30 AM   #9
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I know vacation hours are usually paid at separation, but isn't it standard that sick time is not?
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:49 AM   #10
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They also offer a sick time bonus, if you don't use any sick time in a quarter you get extra hours.
That's how it worked at my former place of employment. If you used less than 6 sick days in a year, they would grant you 2 extra personal days the following year. They started that about 8 years ago, and I 'banked' 16 personal days, which the paid me for when I FIRE'd.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:21 PM   #11
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Just a little clarification. She has worked there for 3 1/2 years. She has never missed an hour of work, even when sick, because like I said, they DON"T PAY YOU for a sick day. You have to miss more than one. I think the point is that they "claim" to have sick days as a benefit, but in reality it's just more Walmart propoganda. Especially when they won't pay you for a sick day, and won't pay them out even at a partial rate upon leaving the company. She has been a model employee from day one, but they have returned the favor by doing one unbelievable thing to her after another. Too many to mention. She had to work there for 18 months before her health plan even kicked in. (They have done a study which shows most full timers quit or are eliminated within that time frame. She recently got hold of a memo to all managers that Walmart was again making another push to eliminate another 1,000 full time employees and replace them with part timers. They promised our community 800 full time jobs. They hired 350, and have whittled it back to less than 150 in less than 4 years. And they openly focus on eliminating middle age or older workers who are full time. So it may sound like I'm being petty, and I am of the opinion that she should just leave and forget about it, but she has been through a lot with them, and feels like she wants to get whatever she can out of them. She's not abusing any system. They have no good system to abuse. 10 bucks per hour after 3 1/2 years is rediculous. I know, it's a free market, but Walmart is way over the top when it comes to treating people poorly. Go to any Walmart forum and you'll see the examples. She wants to work another few months, but wants to use up her vacation, sick days, etc during that time. Anyway, I guess things like this are why we are so happy to be able to retire early, but she has friends there who are still being pushed around, and it's just natural to want to put up some resistance wherever possible.
Thanks, Eddie
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:40 PM   #12
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I'd completely agree if you hadnt said "walmart". Considering how they treat some employees, I might want to have some of my sick time paid back. Especially if I'd gone into work sometimes when I didnt feel well.


Maybe when you get near "the end", you could test how their policy actually works as a scientific study. See how many sick days they'll give you before they fire you. I would bet they'll pay all the sick days up until the date of termination.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:09 PM   #13
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I've never heard of offering sick time but not paying for the first day. Is this a standard practice? My guess is that a good percentage of illnesses (headache/cramps/tummy troubles/etc.) only last a day anyways and at a place like Walmart employees may not want to take an unpaid day in the first place.

Wow, that one is an eye-opener.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:46 PM   #14
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I agree with not using your sick leave unless you are truly sick. I was able to convert my unused sick leave to increase my pension when I retired. I would use vacation leave for doctor and dentist appts, since I knew that I would benefit with a higher pension. However, my DH also worked for the Fed Gov under the CSRS system, and lost quite a bit of sick leave when he left the Feds, instead of retiring with them. He also lost quite a bit of sick leave when he left his last company and started with his present employer. His last employer gave him a paperweight for not taking any sick leave one year and gave him the same the next year for not taking any, but then came back and told him they needed the second one back, since he had already received one. I think that he gave both of them back and would have liked to have told them what they could do with their paperweights! He started with his present employer back in 1991 and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, before his sick leave kicked in, so his pay was docked. This is the only time in our almost 35 years of marriage that he has been in the hospital and I can not remember when the last time he took a sick day.

I do not agree with Walmart's sick policy, but it is what it is and I would not fraudulently try to get around it.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:42 PM   #15
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I've never heard of offering sick time but not paying for the first day. Is this a standard practice? My guess is that a good percentage of illnesses (headache/cramps/tummy troubles/etc.) only last a day anyways and at a place like Walmart employees may not want to take an unpaid day in the first place.
With the company my Dad w*rked for, you had to be off sick 2 days before 'paid sick leave' kicked in. However, when the paid leave kicked in, it was retro-active to the 1st day, so you didn't lose any money. He had to be quite sick before he'd even consider taking off sick, and in those cases he was normally off at least 2 days anyway....... I guess that's where I learned it. I only took 2 sick days off during the last 5 years (due to the flu). In the 25+ years before that, I think I averaged maybe 1-2 days per year.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:17 PM   #16
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You have sick days at walmart.

wow.

I thought they were godless there.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:05 AM   #17
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Hi everybody,

She has 80 hours of sick time accumulated. She has checked if they will just pay her for the days when she quits and they said no, you just lose the sick time hours. We have been on the phone with Walmarts corporate employee services, and all they will tell her is to read the attendance policy. The attendance policy is very vague regarding sick days. Her store managers won't give her a straight answer either.
Eddie
She needs to be very careful about using sick time now, the red flag has been put up with all the questions she's asked and if I know the way these places work they will be watching her. If they think she's trying to use it up they may ask for proof and could terminate her which would leave her without the sick time and the accrued vacation days.

I don't condone abusing sick time but in your situation I would have just used it, taken a couple days at a time until it was gone and then quit.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:08 AM   #18
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They promised our community 800 full time jobs. They hired 350, and have whittled it back to less than 150 in less than 4 years.
'Promised'? Your community should have had this spelled out in a contract before granting a permit. It's not uncommon. Spell out the penalties if they don't comply. Hopefully they learned their lesson the next time someone requests a permit.

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They have no good system to abuse. 10 bucks per hour after 3 1/2 years is rediculous. I know, it's a free market, ...
OK, it's a free market. So Walmart was so bad that you decided to stay there? I don't get it.

I agree with the others - no matter your feelings, don't risk your benefits over a potentially fraudulent charge on trying to get some sick time. No matter how good it makes you feel, it just might not be worth it.

It's pretty common to not pay for unused sick days.

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Old 07-19-2007, 02:46 PM   #19
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It's pretty common to not pay for unused sick days.
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I think that's the 'norm'. My former employer was the only one in our area that I knew of, that would pay you for the unused sick days......but ONLY if you were retiring. If you quit or got terminated....you got ZILCH!!!

Unused sick days also were applied by our pension plan to increase our 'years of service' credit......they added 6 months extra credit for me.

Also, if they even thought you were abusing sick leave, they could require a doctor's note after the 1st day....standard was after the 3rd day. One guy I w*rked with was a constant abuser. He was in a dart league and got pretty drunk every Tues. night, and called off 'sick' every Wed. morning. One Wed. the boss told him he couldn't punch in unless he had a Doc's note. (he'd been warned before) He threw a tantrum, lost a day's pay, had to pay for an office visit to his doctor, and came back the next day. He never took another 'sick' day!
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:30 PM   #20
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It would be interesting to the rate of sick leave at Walmart. Probably low! Sick leave varies tremendously between organizations according to their culture, attendance policies and enforcement of policies. I've seen up to 15% in some very lackadaisical firms!

Accounting wise, banked time, even when not used, can be accrued as an expense, which may help to reduce taxable profits. Hmmmm.......

From a moral point of view, I could not support your DW (or anyone else) using sick time unless she in fact needs sick time.
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