Paid Sick Days? Not Likely

Clarissa Garcia, Staff Writer

As an employer, it is essential to have productive work days alongside workers that offer goods and services to the best of their ability. But what if a few of your workers are sick? Will you still expect them to report to work? And if you let them stay home, will you pay them? I didn’t think so either. Here’s the setback of your greed: your company will lose out more if you make sick workers come to work as opposed to if you give them a day off.  Not only will these employees be less handy, but you will also run the risk of having more workers get sick. 

According to a study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), as of 2009, the overall number of sick days in the United States has increased. Nonetheless, more than 40 million workers continue to lack access to paid sick days; among these workers are Hispanics and others of low income groups.

Now, which careers most commonly lack sick days? You probably would not have guessed, but researchers claim it is in the fields where workers have contact with the public. In addition to the study previously mentioned, researchers found that approximately 24 percent of employees in Food Preparation and Serving Related positions and 31 percent of workers in Personal Care and Service occupations have access to sick days with pay, whereas home care aides and restaurant workers are barely entitled to paid sick days.

A lack of paid sick days may be presumed to be something that should not be made a big deal, but the Public Welfare Foundation feels otherwise. According to the organization, “how workers are compensated for the time they are ill can make a big difference in how diseases spread through the population.”  For instance, those who are low-income and live off their paychecks are less likely to take days off when they are sick because they do not possess any other method of compensation.  Thus, they arrive to work, aware that their illness can be easily contracted by others; this is particularly seen among workers who prepare food, and evidently among those who have contact with the public.

With that being said, next time you are debating whether or not a worker deserves paid sick days, take into account the pros of granting them such. Offering paid sick days will have workers at ease, decreasing their stress levels and improving their overall job performance. And if you’re worried about your employees taking advantage of sick days, the majority of them are not. Remember, these workers do not hold jobs as a hobby; they work hard to contribute to the household bills and duties as well as their loved ones. So if they take that day off, keep in mind that they may not be the only one sick, their loved may be as well. Growing up in a Hispanic household myself, this is especially true for those who come from traditionally large families.

Clarissa Garcia is a Staff Writer for Latino Giant. She is a college freshman currently Undecided at American University, but leaning to the Education field, looking into Secondary Education.

Source: The Huffington Post