HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Flu season fuels debate o...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:55 PM

Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by OKNancy (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: AP-Excite

By JENNIFER PELTZ

NEW YORK (AP) - Sniffling, groggy and afraid she had caught the flu, Diana Zavala dragged herself in to work anyway for a day she felt she couldn't afford to miss.

A school speech therapist who works as an independent contractor, she doesn't have paid sick days. So the mother of two reported to work and hoped for the best - and was aching, shivering and coughing by the end of the day. She stayed home the next day, then loaded up on medicine and returned to work.

"It's a balancing act" between physical health and financial well-being, she said.

An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to a cause that has scored victories but also hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave for a third of civilian workers - more than 40 million people - who don't have it.

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20130121/DA3U8NIO0.html





In this Friday, Jan. 18 2013 photo, activists hold signs during a rally at New York's City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to the cause that has both scored victories and hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

13 replies, 2026 views

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws (Original post)
Omaha Steve Jan 2013 OP
struggle4progress Jan 2013 #1
jeff47 Jan 2013 #2
tammywammy Jan 2013 #9
PSPS Jan 2013 #3
NutmegYankee Jan 2013 #4
REP Jan 2013 #5
politicat Jan 2013 #6
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #7
Proletariatprincess Jan 2013 #8
Igel Jan 2013 #10
SheilaT Jan 2013 #11
SemperEadem Jan 2013 #12
OKNancy Jan 2013 #13

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:03 PM

1. Flu outbreak 2013: A snapshot of influenza activity in all 50 states



... Idaho: In Idaho, eight older adults have died from flu-related illness and doctors are seeing an increase in patients with flu-like symptoms. "It's definitely shaping up to be a more serious flu season than we've seen in the past several years," said spokeswoman Nikki Forbing-Orr of Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare. There have been no runs on flu vaccine and the state's supply is in good shape.

Illinois: Intensive care unit hospitalizations and flu-related deaths surpass previous years and continue to climb, with 27 adult deaths so far. Eight Chicago-area hospitals turned away ambulances earlier this week because of a surge of patients with flu-like symptoms but that situation eased. Chicago's health department encouraged vaccinations and held a flu chat Friday on Twitter; Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted a photo of himself holding a sign that said, "Any advice for people who shake a ton of hands? (hash)FluChicago."

Indiana: Flu is widespread in Indiana and deaths have climbed to 15 during what health officials call a "moderately severe" flu season. During the same period last year, no flu deaths were reported; two years ago there were two deaths. During the pandemic of the 2009-2010 flu season, there were 21 deaths by this time of the year. Two of this season's deaths were in children younger than 18 ...

Massachusetts: Massachusetts has reported a high level of flu activity, with 18 deaths, none in children. The city of Boston declared a public health emergency on Wednesday and is working with health care centers to offer free flu vaccines. Ahead of weekend church services, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston advised priests they may want to encourage parishioners to avoid drinking from communion chalices and skip handshakes when exchanging signs of peace during services until the flu emergency subsides ...

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/health/flu-outbreak-2013-a-snapshot-of-influenza-activity-in-all-50-states



Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:16 PM

2. I'm always astounded at businesses that don't have sick time

Costs the business WAY more to have sick people making everyone else ill - 20 people working at 50% for a day or two costs a hell of a lot more than 1 person taking a day or two off.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:28 AM

9. That's why where I work you have unlimited sick time

Well after 5 consecutive days you go on short term disability...I'm not sure how it works I've never been sick more than a couple days. It's all paid leave. This is a very large company. I came in once, I wasn't used to having sick time - never had it at previous jobs - and I was really stuffed up and my boss sent me home. I had a sinus infection.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:35 PM

3. This sums it up


Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:37 PM

4. I'm amazed at how controversial sick leave is.

It barely passed in Connecticut, Senate (18-17) and House of Representatives (76-65) in a large Democratic Majority.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:48 PM

5. Sick days, hell yes - but doesn't she qualify for FMLA?

The flu is a serious illness covered under FMLA; even if her Union contract doesn't specify paid FMLA days (I'm guessing/hoping she's at least Union, from her job), it would protect her job and her other days off.

That said, workers need guaranteed sick days, even at job sites not covered by FMLA. I'm not sure to how to make them paid days to be fair to tiny businesses ... (then again, when I worked for tiny businesses, they were glad to give a paid day (or so) off when I was sick; it was always the larger ones that demanded I come in with pneumonia), but the current system is a public health threat, among other things.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to REP (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:31 PM

6. Article said independent contractor, so not union.

Lots of school districts and county governments have gone that route as a means to closing budget shortfalls.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:29 PM

7. Any macroeconomic cost benefit analysis would conclude - give people sick days.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:01 AM

8. Bosses hate malingerers more than they hate losing money.

No amount of logic will convince employers to voluntarily provide sick time...especially paid sick time, even if you could prove that it is more cost effective. It is about control. They don't trust their employees because they themselves are untrustworthy, so everyone must be considered a faker. Attendance is a an occasion for disclipline and control.
They say they don't want to pay for time not worked. But they must. That is the price of doing business in a civilized country.
We do so desparetly need strong unions and Labor Law Reform......

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:17 AM

10. I've had both kinds of jobs.

Oddly, I find that the low-responsibility jobs made taking unpaid sick days the easier choice. Yup, I didn't get paid. But I'd contrast my need for that day's pay with the inherent selfishness of going to work and infecting my colleagues or those I served. After all, it's not like I didn't know sick days were unpaid when I took the job. My moral code also says that it's not a cosmic injustice for me to have to choose between hurting myself or hurting others.


Now if I take a paid sick day I've taken off time that can't be made up. Somebody will suffer because of it. I have to contrast the suffering and hurt from my being away from work with the suffering and hurt that would result from my infecting coworkers and "customers."

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:12 AM

11. Yes it's such a good idea to go to work

when you're sick with a contagious disease.

Yes, I saw the part about her being and independent contractor, but going to work when you're sick like that is nuts.

In the mid 1960's I worked for Ma Bell. As an operator. We actually had pretty generous sick leave back then, except that you did not get paid for the first three days you were out sick. The idea was to discourage the employees from just calling in when they wanted a day off. I'd say, based on my experience in the forty-something years since then, that the policy made no difference in how often the employees called in sick. You'd call in, and just resent it mightily that you weren't getting paid.

And even in companies that have a decent sick time policy, too many employees go to work when sick either because management makes it clear that you shouldn't take time off, or from a misguided sense of company loyalty.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:53 AM

12. that's the deal at my company

they throw time at us, but then take a pound of flesh out of you when you take it.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:07 AM

13. this is not a breaking news article

this is an analysis piece. Please repost in GD or Good Reads.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink