Newspapers Examine Workplace Challenges for Employees Who Are Sick
Two newspapers recently examined the challenges of being sick as an employee. Summaries appear below.
Boston Globe: The Globe on Monday examined presenteeism, a term used to describe the practice of people showing up for work even though they are contagious or sick enough that they should stay home. The decision on whether to go to work or stay home is "more than a simple matter of personal responsibility," according to the Globe. Employees often will not take sick days because they will not get paid for that day, they will lose vacation days or they feel their responsibilities at the office are too great to take a day off (Smith, Boston Globe, 12/19).
- New York Times: The Times on Saturday examined options for workers with serious illnesses, who "have more legal safeguards than ever before" but also "face gaps, inconsistencies and questions marks in those laws." While legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act generally outlines procedures for workers who become sick, "it is more specifically determined by things like the culture of a workplace and the sensitivity of a boss," according to the Times. Some experts express concern that rising health care costs will compel companies to make personnel decisions based on health care status (Belkin, New York Times, 12/17).