Paid Sick Time Helps Workers Balance Work and Family

Source: Kristin Smith, Carsey Institute, New England Issue Brief No. 11, Spring 2009

Working families across New Hampshire are nervously watching the flu season, hoping they or a family member will be spared this year. For the 26 percent of New Hampshire workers (excluding the self-employed) who do not have paid sick days, however, a sick child or a bout with the flu forces a difficult decision: stay home and lose wages or possibly even your job, or go to work sick or send your sick child to day care or school and put the health of others at risk. This choice is particularly salient during these times of record high unemployment and job layoffs. No one wants to risk appearing less devoted or committed to their job. Workers are all too aware of the instability in the job market, the potential for their employer to be the next casualty in this economic recession, and the long queue of the ready-to-work unemployed.

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