Sick Time

Yank&BankmyRJ145

New Member
Lets start with a question

What is a acceptable amount of times to call in sick over a year?

Here's why I am upset, I got in trouble today for calling in sick to many times over the last year. I called in 5 times, including one of those caused by the company. Also included in the 5, I called in sick this week because of a headache. My Ass. cheif pilot said I need to bring in a doctor's note. I have no problem getting a note, but he also told me I will need one If I call in again within the next three months. He also pulled up some paperwork about clearing my sick calls, I have always gone by and cleared my sick. He looked at the paperwork and said I have not cleared all my sicks. So I guess I will have to followup with them better in the future.

With that said, What's the point of giving me sick time If I can not use it when I need it, and when I do use I get in trouble. I guess I'm more flabbergasted than anything by what he said.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
K completely different, if they fire you for that I'm sure the union would have a field day. Did you call your rep? Normally they will have someone sit in with you on those phone calls/meetings, even if you are on probation.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Sick time issues are a real problem over here. We have an occurrence program (which actually isn't even in the contract, but which an arbitrator oked last year). Basically you get 7 occurrences and then they can fire you. Before that you get a verbal and written warning and then are given some time off (which makes all kinds of sense... punish somebody who didn't come to work with not letting them come to work). So far I've only heard of two people actually getting fired due to the program and both had over 15 calls in a year.

The interesting thing about our program is that an "occurrence" is just one call, so if you call in sick and then take two weeks off because of it, it just counts as one occurrence. Granted the CPs (actually now it's somebody in the training department who is trying to justify their exsitance) will proably be calling but accoarding to the actual program the two weeks is just one strike. The other good thing is that it is a no fault program meaning a doctors note doesn't make a difference so they never ask for one. The down side of the program is people tend to abuse FMLA instead to get around a high number of occurences.

How much is too much though? No way to know. Most newbies tend to get sick a lot as they try to build up their immune system to deal with the air inside the plane. More senior guys tend not to get sick as much however they are more likely to take a sickation as the fear of retribution by the company is much less for them.

Bottom line, the FARs say, if you are sick, you can't fly. If you are REALLY calling in sick because you are infact sick and not because you don't want to work than a good union SHOULD be able to protect you.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Most airlines have a policy either in your union contract or in one of your company manuals. Most companies don't go by days per se' they go by occurances. I bet you also have wording in the books that says they reserve the right to ask for a Dr's note.


e.g. I have 10 sick days but if i called in sick 1 day a month for the next 10 months you bet I'll be doing a carpet dance. You are better calling in sick 2x for 5 days each.
 

gtpilot

Well-Known Member
As many times as you're sick. Don't let these scumbags intimidate you, because that's exactly what the purpose of these ridiculous "occurance" policies is. This is pure pilot pushing.
Agreed - keep flying safe regardless. Keep good records though and negotiate for better on the next contract.
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Hmm, unless I am wrong calling in sick for headache is a good way to get your medical looked at by the Feds.
Not really. The company is prohibited by law from asking you what the illness was that caused you to call in sick. I called in sick for a sinus headache about five years ago. My medical is still just fine.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
Lets start with a question

What is a acceptable amount of times to call in sick over a year?

Here's why I am upset, I got in trouble today for calling in sick to many times over the last year. I called in 5 times, including one of those caused by the company. Also included in the 5, I called in sick this week because of a headache. My Ass. cheif pilot said I need to bring in a doctor's note. I have no problem getting a note, but he also told me I will need one If I call in again within the next three months. He also pulled up some paperwork about clearing my sick calls, I have always gone by and cleared my sick. He looked at the paperwork and said I have not cleared all my sicks. So I guess I will have to followup with them better in the future.

With that said, What's the point of giving me sick time If I can not use it when I need it, and when I do use I get in trouble. I guess I'm more flabbergasted than anything by what he said.

Check company policy in the FM-1. Then, call the the Union. (Assuming you have one.)

Figure out exactly where you stand by the letter of the company rule, then cross-check it with the union.

They might just be bullying you. Then again, you might be legal and correct by FAR standards but wrong by company procedure.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Not really. The company is prohibited by law from asking you what the illness was that caused you to call in sick. I called in sick for a sinus headache about five years ago. My medical is still just fine.
PCL You are correct the company cannot ask, but if he already told them then they can request an AME to clear him to fly or start having feds ask questions. Especially if it is repeated because in question 18 of the medial app it refers to frequent headaches. However, the feds do not define frequent.

This happened at one my employers. A pilot called in sick just prior to departure and made the mistake of giving them a reason. The company said fine,take the cab to te clinic, we want a Dr. note. So the pilot gets the note with the defiency listed (mistake 2). The company then grounded the pilot until they had a letter from an AME saying the pilot could fly.

If you call in sick don't tell the company what for and if you do get a note make sure it is generic. Any time I gave a note to the company is just said Mr. Bandit_driver was seen at my office on (date).

Are sick days part of the records that get sent from one employer to another, when you apply for a new job?
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
No, the PRIA check doesn't include sick calls. Delta has danced on the line by using their internal lines of communications to find out about sick calls from DCI pilots that interviewed, though. I think it's probably illegal, but no one has challenged them on it, yet.

But you're absolutely right: never volunteer information about why you're calling in sick. If they ask, tell them that it's none of their business and they'll have to connect you to the Chief Pilot and have him ask the question. Make the top dog ask it if the company wants to know.
 
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