Mar 8, 2017

Interesting: Taking a sick day

Kikar has a report on an interesting psak issued by Rav Chaim Kanievsky to Dr. Meshulam Hart (Hirth? Hearth? ). Dr. Hart, a seemingly renowned doctor (pediatrician) in Bnei Braq is relied upon by Rav Kanievsky for his medical opinions and how they affect halachic decisions.

By law, a parent is able to take a sick day from work when sick, and also when a minor child that needs parental care is sick.

A woman came to Dr. Hat's clinic requesting a doctor's note to submit to her place of employment due to the illness of her child. Dr. Hart does not just give out sick notes by request but has to make sure it is a request that meets the requirements. He asked for details and it turns out that the story offered by this woman was that her married daughter was sick for two weeks with a serious condition that required her to be admitted to a hospital and she needed her mother to help care for her. The mother is now requesting a sick note because obviously she was not able to go to wok but had to help her sick daughter.

Dr. Hart responded that the law only allows for a mother to get a sick note to help a minor child, not an adult child, and he therefore refused the request. She pressed further saying that this daughter needed her assistance no less than any minor child ever would.

They made an agreement that Dr. Hart would ask Rav Kanievsky and whatever he decided they would do.

After hearing the question with details of the illness and how the mother was able to help, Rav Kanievsky decided that she was really not able to work at all while her daughter was sick and she too could be considered sick in some way because of it and can claim it as sick days.

(the original publication this was taken from added a note not to extrapolate from this case and apply the decision to other cases)

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  1. As usual, something seems off. If the law specifically states that a parent can only take a sick day for a child's illness if the child is a minor, what's the question. What if a parent is sick and has only one child and needs the child's help, can the child take a sick day?

  2. I am not sure how a sick day is defined by law, beyond what it says in the story. I do know a parent can take for a young child. if a situation does not qualify as an official sick day, the employee can always take an unpaid vacation day or even a paid vacation day (as long as the persons boss agrees). sometimes you have to pay to do what you want or need to do


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