The right to use your sick leave

UPTE-CWA-represented animal techs at UCSF recently organized to oppose unreasonable statements by management that would have denied them legitimate use of earned sick leave.

Management told them that 6 or more uses of sick leave per year might result in a warning memo and would interfere with promotions.

UCSF was basing its decree on a 1985 policy imposing an automatic review of sick leave for “patterns of misconduct,” such as taking leave repeatedly on Fridays and Mondays. While such a trigger-activated monitoring policy is of questionable validity (and it provides for monitoring only), a policy that results in discipline for legitimate use of sick leave is certainly a violation of employees’ rights to due process and just treatment under the contract.

“Management chose to misread this memo and punish workers for being sick,” said Nino Maida, chief steward at UPTE San Francisco.

After the workers asked Maida to intervene, the matter was quickly resolved by requiring UCSF to retrain supervisors on proper procedures.

Maida adds that the case highlights the need to encourage members to bring questionable practices to the union’s attention.

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