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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:52 PM
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Swine flu: Without paid sick leave, workers won't stay home
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Swine Flu: With No Paid Sick Leave, Workers Won't Stay Home
Because of the Swine Flu, 15 States are Considering Laws to Mandate Paid Sick Days
By PATRIK JONSSON
ATLANTA, Nov. 14, 2009

Nearly half of all American workers do not have paid sick leave, and half of these are more likely to go to work feeling unwell -- or send an ill child to school -- rather than take an unpaid day off.
Swine flu: Without paid sick leave, workers won't stay home: Many workers choose to work if they don't have paid sick leave. Now, partly because of swine flu, 15 states are considering laws to make paid sick leave mandatory.

For the 48 percent of Americans without paid sick leave, the choice is between two equally undesirable options: stay at home and lose money or go to work despite government exhortations not to.

These findings threaten to undermine President Obama's effort to have anyone exhibiting swine-flu-like symptoms stay at home for as many as four days. The emphasis on prevention and individual responsibility is a welcome departure from the punitive government actions -- such as quarantines and forced vaccinations -- called for under previous pandemic-response plans, some health experts say.

But for the 48 percent of Americans without paid sick leave, the policy presents a choice between two equally undesirable options: stay at home and lose money or go to work despite government exhortations not to. Businesses, too, say the situation leads to so-called "presenteeism," or the act of going to work while unwell, costing the economy $180 million a year, by one estimate.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Ct., announced Tuesday that he is preparing emergency legislation that would guarantee paid sick days for those diagnosed with the H1N1 virus.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFluNews/states-paid-s...
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