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Swine flu: Without paid sick leave, workers won't stay home

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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:52 PM
Original message
Swine flu: Without paid sick leave, workers won't stay home
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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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. If this flu was declared a national emergency
then perhaps the president could just issue an executive order mandating sick leave for workers.

By the time the paper pushing buffoons on Capitol Hill get done with "legislation" the pandemic will be over.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. Those diagnoses with H1N1
They aren't doing diagnoses unless you're really sick and not getting better. And the very people who don't have sick leave, also don't have health coverage so they can't afford to go to the doctor anyway.

Honestly. Senators should be required to live a week with a working income family every year. They are just too often completely clueless.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Absolutely.
They need to know what it's like to live in the real world.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's why I always used to cough on my boss's phone. Sorry, Sharon. No, not really.
I don't mean I didn't really cough on your phone.

I mean, I'm not really sorry.

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. That would be a nice piece of progressive legisalation...
At least one week of sick leave per year.
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reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. here in France
we get 5 weeks paid vacation minimum, and how ever many sick days the doctors say we need. You must bring a doctors letter to use a sick day so there are no sick days at the Cubs game but the system is great for people who are actually sick.
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is true.
Even progressive companies, with great health plans, and lots of paid time off, here in Canada, still punish people for being sick. My mom has a great paid sick leave plan with her company, but if you take more than 2 days in a row, your profit sharing goes way down. How dumb is that? So what a lot of people were doing was staying home for 2 days, dragging themselves back for a day, spreading their disease, then staying home another 2 days. Companies have to stop punishing people for being sick, period.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That is a very important point
I definitely don't work for a progressive company and I wouldn't say I had a "great health plan" or "lots of time off" .... but I do have a health plan and I do have "sick time" ... there are "unwritten" penalties and consequences associated with the use of accrued sick time.
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guyton Donating Member (370 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. fired ...
This was a few years back, but a friend of mine was fired from his job for too many
unauthorized absences.

The listed awol days included when he had the flu and when his son was born.

His job? Working triage at the local ER.

Just want I want, someone having to work while sick ... interviewing
people as they come into the ER. Nuts.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. Many here have been telling us H1N1 is a joke, not serious at all.
Nothing to worry about a national hysteria created by the media.
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reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
9. In France our socialized medicine pays us our normal salary
for each day we are sick. It is the whole idea that sick people should stay at home to rest and get well. Secondarily it is about not contaminating others. I have bronchitis today and have 2 days paid at home rest because my doctor said that's how much time I need to recover.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
12. Two weeks and a day.
Swine flu the first five to seven days, and then you have to deal with the secondary infections. Congested lungs and sinus infections.

If you insist on going back to work, be pro-active and ask you physician for a lung anti-biotic along with that Tami-flu. It's the only way to cut time off the recovery.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. Never understood why business don't offer sick days.
Edited on Mon Nov-16-09 08:59 AM by Statistical
Most companies don't offer sick days to create a workers paradise or because they love their employees.
Most companies offer sick days because of $$$$.

Studies have shown companies that allow a moderate amount of sick days are more productive and reduce the risk of a single illness causing a substantial portion of workforce to become sick.

H1N1 just spotlights the issue. Having no sickdays is more expensive than not having them.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Too many 'sick' people rise to The Top, enabling them to impose their "value$"
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-16-09 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
15. Good point.
And good legislation. Hope it gets fast tracked.
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