Paid Family and Medical Leave vs. Paid Sick Days

What’s the Difference?

Living in Montana we know that the flu or even a bad cold can knock us off our feet for a few days, yet many workers don’t earn a single paid sick day. However, occasionally we all will need more extended leave to welcome a new baby into the family or when faced with a serious personal or family illness. Unfortunately, because so few Montanans have access to paid leave, they receive no income while they are recovering or helping family members. This hurts workers, families, and our entire state economy.

Check out this chart to learn the difference between paid family and medical leave insurance (FMLI) and paid sick days, and why both of these policies are important for individuals, families, and Montana.




Family and Medical Leave Insurance

Angela, a professional cook in a local restaurant, loves to enjoy the great outdoors, but on her way home from the mountains, she was in a serious car accident and broke her leg. Angela faced surgery and a month-long recovery. Income from the FMLI fund would allow her to cover her bills and go back to work when she is healthy again.

John faced devastating news when his father, living in his hometown in rural Montana, was diagnosed with cancer. With FMLI, John could take leave with partial pay to care for his father, including trips to doctor appointments, help with his medication, and household work.

Jessica, a registered nurse who has worked in the NICU, was so excited to have a new baby of her own. With FMLI, Jessica could take time to heal from giving birth and not worry about how her family would pay the bills. FMLI gave her the time to bond with her daughter and give her the best start in life.

Sick Days

Angela’s job brings her in contact with many people and their food every day. When Angela catches the flu, she needs a few days to recover – which keeps her customers and co-workers from getting sick too.

As a veteran, John could use paid sick days at his civilian job to visit the VA for follow-up treatments for injuries he received in Afghanistan.

Jessica returned to work to help others and continued to build her career. When little Samantha started running a fever at daycare, Jessica was able to use paid sick days to stay home with her until she was better.