The Sick-Day Debate: Work and Get Paid vs. Rest and Get Better
Sometimes it isn’t easy to decide whether or not to stay home from work. While symptoms such as a high fever or vomiting cannot be ignored, many of us tough out a cold or write off a headache while continuing to conduct business as usual.
For many workers, however, the sick-day debate has another factor – they won’t get paid if they don’t go to work. As this article notes, about 40 million people do not have a single paid sick day. “Right now in the United States, more than 40 percent of the private sector workforce — and more than 80 percent of low-wage workers — cannot earn a single paid sick day, no matter how many years they have been on the job, no matter how good their work.”
Such a scenario leads many people who should be home resting to instead go to work because they need to make ends meet. In doing so, they jeopardize their own health and put others at risk of becoming ill. They also are more than likely less productive than usual.
Outraged over these figures, the National Partnership for Women & Families has started a campaign to bring the issue to national attention. The group is asking for supporters to tweet political candidates on all levels asking them to support paid sick days as a basic workplace right or explain why they will not. The hashtag is #RU4paidsickdays, and further information can be found here.
What is your company’s policy on sick days? Share your thoughts in the comments section.