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Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:46 PM

Would you like a side of the flu with your order?

Submitted by louisehartmann on 11. January 2013 - 8:16
All around us, people are coming down with the flu – and the Centers for Disease Control warn that it could be the worst flu season in ten years. And to make matters worse, our national workplace policies are helping to spread the flu. Despite the CDC recommending people “stay home and avoid contact with other people,” most workers don’t have that option, as the United States is the only developed country that doesn’t guaranteed paid sick days to its workers.

As a result, 40% of private sector workers and 80% of low-income workers don’t get any paid sick days. In the food industry, where the chances of the flu spreading are highest, 79% of workers say they receive no paid sick leave. Our lack of protections for workers is directly responsible for more flu illnesses around the nation. As a 2009 study in the American Journal of Public Health found, there were as many as 5 million additional cases of the H1N1 flu in 2009, due to a lack of paid sick time.

Giving workers what they have earned – which is paid sick days – isn’t about workers rights. It’s about national security, and saving millions of Americans from needlessly contracting the flu when they dine out or go to the grocery store. Unfortunately, the billionaire class running Corporate America has squeezed every bit of profit they can from their workers – denying them union representation, healthcare, and paid vacations and sick leave.

This is insanity – and we should protest with our wallets and pocketbooks. Before dining out, call the restaurant and ask if they offer paid sick days to their employees. If not, then eat there at your own risk.


http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2013/01/would-you-side-flu-your-order


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What a country...

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:53 PM

1. "PTO" is the Rule in Most Companies These Days

Stay home sick, and it's bye bye vacation.

Part time workers (which may be most of the food service industry now) don't even get that.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:53 PM

2. I used to work for a company that gave us sick days, but

if we used them for anything we were written up for poor attendance. It was pathetic.

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Response to Kookaburra (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:57 PM

4. Sounds like my spouse's current

employer. Call in sick (even if you have plenty of time to use) and it's an "occurrence" on your record that will affect your annual review.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:55 PM

3. During the 1980's we had to give back

our 4 sick days and lost a week's vacation along with wage roll backs and freezes (this is a union grocery store). The grand offset was to allow us to use a week of vacation time one day at a time to allow us to be off work sick. Through the years we now have 2 sick days per year and can still use vacation as described above. It was just 4 years ago that our health plan covered the full cost of a flu shot through the pharmacy or outside a Doctor's office (something that I railed about for years trying to convince folks that $25.00 was a whole lot cheaper than the consequences of catching the flu both in costs to the insurance plan and loss of productive work time).

It comes down to this, retail & service workers are expendable.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:05 PM

5. This has always been my argument in favor of socialized health care.

Public safety. I've won every socialized medicine argument I've had with people using this. Well, "won" may be over stating the case. They conceded nothing. But they did STFU about how great a privatized system is.

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Response to intheflow (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:07 PM

14. Run for Office...

You sound like you're on the People's side.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:15 PM

6. A compromised national security due to millions getting sick because workers do not get what they

have earned - paid sick leave - is but a small price a corporatist government is willing to pay for the inestimable joys of living in a right-wing-soused society that also features vast welfare for large corporations and the most affluent, an inequitable income tax code, burgeoning income inequality, very low minimum wages, an eroding standard of living for the masses concomitant with a shrinking middle class, accumulation of most of the national wealth among a relative few, high incarceration rates with jails packed with minor drug offenders, very poor rankings in all quality-of-life measurements among industrialized nations, and the beat goes on and on.

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Response to indepat (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:38 PM

7. Sounds about right.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:39 PM

8. I had fantastic benefits at my job before I was laid off in 2010.

10 days sick leave and 3 weeks vacation. Unfortunately, it was a magazine publication company that was losing advertising revenue, so I was let go, but I only have the highest praise for them.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:03 PM

9. I have paid sick leave *IF*

if I'm sick for three days in a row and get a note from a doctor saying that I'm too sick/contagious to work.

This means that even though I am too sick to go to work, I have to get an appointment (last minute) at a doctor's office and get there to have him/her tell me I should be home in bed.

I and many of my co-workers commute on foot, by bicycle, and public transportation. Getting to a doctor when one is feeling too ill to go to work is a terrible burden, not to mention the expense and the added stress of making sure your sick leave is processed before you default on any major bills.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:18 PM

10. Even if they had time off, I wonder how many couldn't afford a trip to the doctor

or wouldn't have insurance to cover a trip.
Jesus, our health care system stinks.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:44 PM

11. It's not just the lack of paid sick days,

it's the horrendously punitive policies of too many employers that insist that people come in to work even when they're sick at the risk of being fired or disciplined. I've had the misfortune of working for employers like that and it was hell. I was hospitalized for bacterial bronchitis once and was nearly fired when I returned to work, which I wasn't able to do for a week. They actually called my doctor, who ripped them and reamed them new ones all over the place, but it did no good as far as the discipline was concerned and my receiving a "written warning." I will never understand employers like that, especially those whose employees work directly with the public and who can make customers very ill. I'm especially disgusted with restaurants and similar workplaces, which seem to have the worst policies of all.

I just got out of the hospital a couple of days ago for the flu; I had a bad cardiac reaction to the virus that could have gone worse had I not gotten myself to the ER and then been admitted for a day and a half. Hubby got it, too, and we'd eaten out several places beforehand. I wish I knew for sure that that was the cause and which place it was, I'd sue their asses for the damned medical costs. Maybe THAT would get the attention of their greedy, selfish assclown CEO's.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:47 PM

12. But it SHOULD be about workers rights.

It's sad that this argument should have to be re-framed as a national security issue.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:05 PM

13. As a server/bartender, I have served you the flu.

It wasn't even that I had to work because I needed the money.

Mind you, I really did need the money, but 2 or 3 days off wouldn't have left me homeless.

No, I served you the flu because I needed a doctors note to return to work if I failed to show up that day. Yeah, no insurance and you want me to not only miss work but pay out $50 to $100 to someone to tell me to take off work, take aspirin etc, and get lots of rest.

Yes, come in sick to serve food, or lose your job.

So, please enjoy your side of flu with that drink.

You're welcome,
The assholes in management

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:46 PM

15. I get sick time and I work in a hospital with neonates

so they say they want me out for any cold or sickness, but I can't be out more than three times in six months or I get written up for excessive absences. Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:08 PM

16. You know, I've read that

the medical industry is among the worst offenders in attendance policies and forcing people to work when ill, and most nurses and other medical workers I've known have confirmed that. And I just don't get it. If ANY industry should be especially vigilant regarding the health of its workers and not passing illnesses on to the public, it'd be hospitals and the medical industry. It makes NO sense to me whatsoever, from any angle. Even if they don't give a shit about their employees (and hospitals really don't, in a lot of cases) you'd think they'd recognize the danger to their patients, visitors and the public. If they don't want to look at it from a workers rights perspective (and we all know just how "good" hospitals are at that, right?), then why aren't they looking at it from a public health perspective and a malpractice perspective? I just DO NOT get it.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:46 AM

17. Luckily, few nurses observe our employers stupid ass rules

When I'm sick, I stay home. No way, no how am I going to give the crud to my preemie patients. But, because I do have reasonable insurance, I put on my mask and go to the doctor for my precious $20 note. My "get out of work free" card. I think I just like to watch my doctor roll her eyes when I tell her why a 50 year old woman needs a note from her doctor. She thinks it's so stupid and dehumanizing and I'm just amused by her eye rolling.

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