Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Flu Recommendations for Business

On their website the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health lists recommendations for businesses on the prevention and treatment of influenza. Influenza (“the flu”) is a sudden, respiratory disease that spreads easily. It is characterized by the sudden onset of fever, body aches, sore throat, headache, tiredness and cough.

The second recommendation from the Department includes:

Employees with symptoms of the flu should not come to work. Excluding ill employees from the work place can help reduce the spread of the illness to other employees.

While in practice this seems like a logical choice for workers, in Pennsylvania over 2.2 million workers do not receive any paid sick days. These workers face the difficult choice of going to work sick or losing a days pay or possibly their job. Faced with that choice many will go to work and risk infecting their co-workers, customers, and the public at large. This is particularly problematic as the industries that have the largest numbers of workers without paid sick day are those that handle our food or care for out children.

If you think that allowing workers to earn paid sick days is important come to the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces’ Letter Writing Party on December 7th from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM at the United Way Building of Southeastern Pennsylvania (1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA). Help us urge legislators to protect the public by protecting workers.

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