Lack of Paid Sick Days Compounds Flu Problem
fresnobee.com — Health officials are urging businesses to keep sick employees home this fall to control the spread of swine flu. But for many workers, a sick day is a day without wages. So they’re still showing up for work, exposing others to the highly contagious flu strain, researchers say. Nearly 60 million workers in the United States do not have paid sick leave, according to studies by Human Impact Partners, an Oakland-based health-policy advocacy organization. More than one-third of flu cases are transmitted in schools and workplaces — and studies show that when sick workers stay home, the number of people affected by pandemic flu can be reduced by 15% to 34%, said Jonathan Heller, director of Human Impact Project and author of the sick-leave studies.