Sick Pay Definition

Payroll Definitions

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Sick Pay Definition

Term Definition
Payment that an employer gives to an employee in the event of an absence due to illness, injury or disability. Sick pay usually is equivalent to a full day’s pay for each full day of work that is missed, and the amount of sick pay offered varies by employer.

Extended Definition
Many employers in the U.S. offer sick pay as a benefit to employees, but there is no federal law requiring it. Sick pay is offered at the employer’s discretion, except in several states where it is required. Employers may be required to give employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law applies to employers with 50 or more employees.

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