Thank you to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research for providing some of the information used in this blog post.
Allowing workers to earn sick time so they have the flexibility to recover from illnesses at home or seek preventative care and medical treatment isn’t just good for public health – it is also good for the public’s wallet. While over the next few years health care reform will provide individuals with more affordable options for health coverage, without earned sick time the amount of savings overall will be limited.
With over 40 percent of Americans not having any earned sick time, a large portion of the population will not be able to take the time off work to go see a doctor or obtain medical treatment – regardless of the medical coverage they have. If workers are unable to go to a doctor’s office or seek preventative care for an illness, use of the emergency room may not decrease significantly. Emergency care can cost two to five times more than visiting a doctor’s office.
With earned sick time, employees are more likely to stay home when they are sick, limiting the spread of the illness and protecting co-workers, customers, or anyone else they come in contact with during the work day. During the height of the H1N1 pandemic, people were urged to stay home if they had any signs of the flu, however, those without earned sick time were less likely to stay home because they could not afford to. This and other outbreaks cost workers, employers, and insurance companies a lot of money.
Passage of legislation that would provide workers earned sick time, like the Healthy Families Act, would result in savings for workers of over $100 million a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses resulting from seasonal flu alone, plus other savings for employers and insurers. Allowing workers to take paid leave to care for elderly parents or other family members who become ill could save over $700 million a year by avoiding temporary placement in care facilities. In comparison, providing leave comes at an average cost in the private sector of just 23 cents per employer-hour worked.
Advisory/Press Release (39) autism (2) behind the kitchen door (1) BKD (2) business (40) campaign (2) cdc (1) Center for Social Policy (1) center of american progress (2) child care (1) children (18) city council (7) Coalition (80) costs (11) coverage (2) data (2) domestic violence (8) earned sick time (25) economic opportunity institute (2) economic security (27) elder (5) election (2) election day (1) equal pay (7) event (42) family (33) Family Act (4) family leave (10) fda (1) Federal Poverty level (1) flu (7) fmla (4) food safety (1) food safety modernization act (1) gender gap (2) H1N1 (7) health (4) health care (16) Healthy Families Act (21) huffington post (2) huffpo (2) implementation (4) injury (1) institute for women's policy research (2) insurance (1) law (2) legislation (45) legislators (1) legislature (1) letter to editor (7) letter writing (6) LGBT (4) living wage (4) living wage bill (8) low wage (5) maternity care coalition (1) May 13 (1) mayor (17) minimum wage (1) mobilize (1) national (11) new hampshire university (1) New York City (1) Newsletter (3) Nutter (2) NutterWatch (9) occupational injury (1) op-ed (7) other states/cities (23) PA (38) paid (1) paid leave (27) paid sick days (34) Pennsylvania (3) petition (12) Philadelphia (151) Philly ROC (4) pictures (4) Pitt (1) polling (2) poverty (2) preemption (5) pregnancy (4) press (34) prevention (1) public comment (5) public health (31) ranking (1) regulations (2) report (15) restaurant workers (3) restaurants (10) ROC (1) safe time (1) san francisco (17) SB 333 (1) Seattle (1) Shriver Center (1) sign-on (1) SPM (1) stats (10) Story (23) study (4) Supplmental Poverty measure (1) take action (35) tax credits (1) transportation (1) trust across america (1) university of Boston (1) university of Michigan (1) University of Pittsburgh (1) veto (1) video (3) Virginia (1) volunteer (1) vote (6) vote for homes (1) voter id (1) Washington DC (1) women (15) work flexibility (1) work-life balance (14) workers (3) world economic forum (1)