Jeffrey (Jeff) H. Ruzal, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in SHRM, in “Sabbaticals Can Help Fight Burnout, Turnover,” by Allen Smith.

Following is an excerpt:

Employee sabbaticals aren't a common benefit at most employers, but one company that offers them finds they're an effective way to fight burnout and turnover.

Since New York City consulting firm SAPRO instituted its sabbatical program, said Mary Maguire, executive vice president of global strategic partnerships, its employee engagement score has risen to 83 percent—13 percent above the industry average. The firm's turnover rate dropped to less than 5 percent—20 percent less than the industry average. …

Legal Considerations

Be sure to keep the sabbatical policy and practice clearly distinguishable from vacation time, said Jeffrey Ruzal, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green in New York City. Otherwise, "there is risk that a court or state agency might interpret such sabbatical leave as tantamount to unused paid vacation time, thereby requiring payout," he said.

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