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Paid sick days are good for businesses- both big and small

Each day, millions of Americans go to work because they can't afford a day without pay. When employees are forced to come to work sick , they put public health at risk. Furthermore, research shows that healthy employees are happy and productive employees. Read on to learn more about what paid sick days could do for businessess--big and small.

Did you know?

  • Too often, workers can't afford staying home from the office when sick.

    Nearly half (48%) of private-sector workers—57 million people—are not able to take a paid sick day when they are ill (1). A recent poll of workers in Ohio by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that half of the respondents had gone to work sick in the past year because they could not afford to lose pay (2).

  • Healthy employees are productive employees

    More than half (56%) of human resources executives say that “presenteeism,” is a problem because they risk infecting others and may lower productivity (3). “Presenteeism” costs our national economy $180 billion annually in lost productivity, surpassing the cost of absenteeism. For employers, this costs an average of $255 per employee per year (4).

  • Paid sick days could help the U.S. economy save over $8 billion

    If workers were offered seven paid sick days a year, our national economy would experience a net savings of $8.1 billion a year due to increased productivity and reduced turnover (5)!

  • Paid sick days help protect the public from the flu

    Nearly half of stomach “flu”-related outbreaks caused by the norovirus are linked to ill food-service workers —and they are among the least likely to have paid sick days (6).

Want more facts? Knowledge is power! Click here to return to the "Learn More" page.


1. Vicky Lovell, No Time to Be Sick

2. NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health, July 2008, "Health Care and the Economy in Two Swing States: A Look at Ohio and Florida."

3. CCH Incorporated, 2006 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, October 2006

4. Ron Goetzal, et al, Health Absence, Disability, and Presenteeism Cost Estimates, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2004

5. Vicky Lovell, Valuing Good Health: An Estimate of Costs and Savings for the Healthy Families Act, Institute of Women’s Policy Research, 2005

6. CDC, Norovirus Outbreak Associated with Ill Food-Service Workers, Jan. 2006