Travel While on Sick Leave
October 5, 2019
The Learning Network CBT that Flight Attendants are required to complete by October 6, 2019 contains a slide that addresses the issue of travel while on sick leave. This slide is generating a number of questions on the subject of traveling while on sick leave.
On the CBT slide that addresses this issue appears the following verbiage while indicating the employee used in the example “should not take the trip”:
“We expect, in most instances, an employee who it too sick to work is also too sick to travel using his or her Leisure Pass Travel Privileges. If an employee has a question about the appropriateness of traveling while out on sick leave, he or she can clear travel with his or her supervisor or HR partner prior to travel.”
In the example, there is insufficient information to determine if the employee should or should not use his Leisure Pass Travel Privileges nor is there any information that would lead one to conclude there has been a misuse of travel privileges.
It should not be concluded from the CBT slide that there has been any change to the longstanding mutual understanding of how travel on sick leave works for Inflight. There is no disagreement between Labor Relations and the Union on how travel while on sick leave works. Inflight is administering travel while on sick leave consistent with the understanding of the company and the Union. “Permission” to travel is not required. However, when you are on sick leave and use your Leisure Pass Travel Privileges, you are accountable when doing so. In the event you travel while on sick leave and management has reason to believe that travel may be inappropriate, you should expect the company will investigate the instance.
If, during the course of the investigation, the company finds there was a misuse of travel, there will be consequences which may include an investigation into the appropriateness of your use of sick leave and/or travel. The results of the investigation may result in the company taking disciplinary action which may include placing your job at risk.
However, it cannot be emphasized enough that Flight Attendants are not required to obtain permission prior to traveling while on sick leave if you are clear that your use of travel while on sick leave is not a misuse of the privileges.
In the event you have additional questions, we recommend you contact your Local Council Office.