A recent study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that in 2012, poor and Hispanic workers were most likely to go without paid sick days. The nonprofit, which advocates for pro-family policies, found that 39 percent of private sector workers over the age of 18 must choose between getting paid or staying at home when they are sick.
This comes as New York City mandated that companies with five or more employees offer at least five paid sick days to their workers. It is one of a few cities to establish paid sick leave. The Atlantic reports that 10 states have passed laws banning local governments from establishing sick-leave laws.
And it was mostly the lowest-earning workers who were affected:
The study also found that 76 percent of food service workers, they found, currently aren’t offered paid sick days. There are health codes that must be followed in the food industry and it’s a real shame that management thumbs its nose at the health and safety of its customers by having sick food handlers on the job because they have no sick days.
Small-business advocacy groups are staunchly opposed to sick-day legislation, arguing it would cause a drop-off in hiring. But other research reports show that after California’s leave law was established, most employers saw either no effect or a positive impact. And after a San Francisco municipal sick-leave law was enacted, workers took fewer days than they were eligible for. Source: The Atlantic
It’s a sad commentary that some business owners would rather have sick workers on the job for the sake of preserving their precious dollars than having a heart and caring for the well-being of that employee. The fact is, studies have shown that “presenteeism,” which is defined as workers showing up for work even though they are sick, often backfires on the company because a sick employee is less productive and could infect others around them.