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Sick Days and the Flu

  1. frantisek78 profile image80
    frantisek78posted 5 years ago

    The Centers for Disease Control keeps telling Americans who feel sick to stay home from work for a few days so they don't spread the flu. What they don't mention is that you may not need to bother ever going back to work in many cases. About one-third of American workers have no sick days, meaning that they could get fired for not coming to work because of illness. Even those with some sick days are reluctant to use them because of the anger of co-workers who have to do their jobs and because of bosses who will question their all important "work ethic."

    In the US profits come way before public health issues. This is why the CDC's recommendations fall on deaf ears. Also, most food industry workers have no sick days, meaning that the people handling your food could very well be sick with the flu and spreading it even further. Something to keep in mind before heading out to lunch.

    If paid sick days are not made mandatory, then employers should at least provide HAZMAT suits to workers as they slog away for the company's profits.

    1. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Did it occur to you that relatively few companies encourage or demand that employees come in sick?  That they do so anyway because they want the money plus their paid vacation time? 

      It's not all the companies fault, and neither is not wishing to pay for employees that aren't producing.  Any more than employees that don't wish to work without being paid.

      1. CASE1WORKER profile image73
        CASE1WORKERposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Oh my goodness- In the UK you are not expected to work if you are sick- some people might lose their jobs because of non attendance but it is usually as they have been sick a lot- my own job I get up to four months at full pay and then 6 months at half pay- state benefits kick in after the first three days.
        My eldest daughter is a  teacher- they are not allowed to come into work for 48 hours after they have been sick or had tummy troubles.
        If you really have the flu i think it is impossible to work

      2. frantisek78 profile image80
        frantisek78posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Many people can't afford to take unpaid sick days, did that ever occur to you? Most Americans are just an illness away from losing their job, and if there are more serious problems health care benefits are usually insufficient, leading to huge medical bills that could make people lose not only their jobs but their houses to. It's very easy to end up homeless, and not having paid sick days is just the very tip of this problem.

        It's not really the worker's fault that they get sick. Companies want workers to produce, sure. But workers can't produce well when they are sick, now can they?

        I'm not talking about people who are lazy and constantly call in sick. I am talking about people who are faced with something like this flu going around. Companies may not demand that workers come in sick, but many of them don't frown upon it either. Boss is away in his separated office whilst everyone else in the open cubicle areas/factory floor/kitchen etc. is infecting each other and customers.

        The bottom line is that companies want the profit. If the workers have a problem then it's their problem in most cases.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Most full time workers have paid vacation days, and most companies will be glad to allow them to use that time.  Most people, however don't want to do that - why not if they need the money badly enough?

          It isn't the employees fault, but it certainly isn't the employers fault, either (or if it is it falls under workmens comp).  Why, then, expect or ask an employer to pay the cost if it isn't their fault?  Again, will an employee work without being paid because a company is "sick" and failing?  No - they leave, letting the company go bankrupt. 

          My opinion on sick days is that every company that offers them finds the concept is abused by the majority of employees.  It is turned into vacation days in their minds, days they can stay home to play golf and get paid for.  Maybe, just maybe, if employees were honest and used them ONLY for when they were too sick to go to work more companies would offer it.

          1. frantisek78 profile image80
            frantisek78posted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Vacation days are not sick days. Of course workers don't want to use their measly 14 or so (if you are lucky) vacation days if they are sick. America already has the fewest average vacation days in the industrialized West to go alongside the virtually non-existant sick days.

            Companies make money off of the work done by employees, that is why they should have paid sick days. Sure, there are people who abuse sick days, but not the majority. Employers abuse workers more by not allowing them enough time off and keeping them in constant fear of being fired at the drop of a hat.

            The US has the most overworked and stressed workforce in the developed world. And how do we handle it? Self medication with sleeping pills, anti-anxiety pills, stress counseling etc.

            Obviously, since there are very few real laws protecting the rights of employees and because of the high unemployment rate companies know they can fire people supposedly lacking in "work ethic" and hire new people out of the millions currently needing a job.

            1. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Vacation days = paid time off.  Sick days = paid time off.  The difference is?

              Same exact question to you, frantisek - if a company is in trouble should employees work without pay?  That's exactly what you are asking the company to do and I for one cannot for the life of me see any difference. 

              "Companies make money off of the work done by employees, that is why they should have paid sick days" - let's rephrase that just a little.  "Employees make money off the resources of companies, that is why they should work for free when asked to"  Can you seriously point out a difference there?  Remember, "Companies" means people - people that are making a living off of that companies profits.

              I have never in my life met a single person that had sick leave that could not be saved that wouldn't use some of it for entertainment rather than sick leave before they lost it.

      3. psycheskinner profile image82
        psycheskinnerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I don't know about you, but if I am out of sick days, I have to work.  And I bet the same is true of many employees.

        If I get hit by a bus and literally can't work, I don't get paid.  This means I can't eat or pay rent. (These being the frivolities I 'want' the money for).

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          "Have" to work?  You will be fired if you don't?  Or at least laid off?  You have no vacation days you can take?

          If so, I would have to say you need a new employer - that isn't in the best interest of either you OR the employer.  Very short sighted and indicative of poor management.

          Although getting hit by a bus doesn't work (you sue the bus company), why should a particular company, one that has simply contracted to trade money for work, be required to provide all your support should you become seriously ill?  Isn't that the job of society in general?

          1. frantisek78 profile image80
            frantisek78posted 5 years agoin reply to this

            How does society take care of seriously ill people? I guess you mean if they can't pay their medical bills they ask for money on TV shows, but that is saying something about the health care system in general. There is no organized "society" that takes care of people, it is what organizations, governments, non-profits, aid groups etc try to do, but many many people fall through the large cracks and end up with nothing because of an illness.

            People can't always sue their way out of things. After all, accidents happen and might not necessarily have been the fault of the bus company for example. What then?