Lack of Paid Sick Days Allowed H1N1 to Spread in the Workplace

A new Briefing Paper entitled Sick at Work: Infected Employees in the Workplace During the H1N1 Pandemic, released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, finds that while almost 26 million employed Americans age 18 and over may have been infected with the H1N1 flu in 2009, nearly 8 million employees took no time off work while infected. Relying on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on rates of illness and work attendance during the months of September through November, 2009, the study suggests that an alarming number of employees attended work while sick. The findings suggest that a lack of paid sick days–especially in the private sector, where two in five workers lack paid sick days–increased the spread of H1N1 spread in the workplace.
The report can be found here: http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/B284sickatwork.pdf

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