Legislators Consider Mandating Sick Leave, But Will It Make Businesses Ill?

Source: Matthew Gever, State Health Notes, Volume 29 Issue 520, July 21, 2008

Go to work or stay home when you are sick? For some workers, this choice does not exist. Now lawmakers are weighing in.

About 43 percent of workers in private industry nationwide–approximately 66 million people–do not receive any form of paid sick leave from their employers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most of these workers, according the data, are in lower wage service sector jobs or are part-time or temporary. …

…Supporters say businesses can save money and improve productivity by allowing their employees to take sick time off. For example, a recent study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that providing sick leave would save California businesses $959 million per year, mostly through less employee turnover. The study also estimates significant cost savings as employees would have quicker recovery times and less contagion, as sick employees would not come to work where they would spread the disease to others.

Leave a Reply