Friday, January 4, 2013

Study Shows Workers With No Earned Sick Days More Likely to Have Workplace Injuries

One more piece of evidence in the increasingly-difficult-to-ignore body of facts that suggests earned sick days – particularly for lower-wage workers – are crucial to our country’s economic success and families’ economic security.

A new study by health economist J. Paul Leigh, a professor at the Health Economics School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health Sciences at University of California Davis, shows that the economic cost of workplace injuries among low-wage workers amounted to more than $39 billion in 2010. 

The high cost of workplace injuries is particularly striking in light of recent research demonstrating a significant correlation between lack of paid sick leave and the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries. Workers with paid sick leave were 28 percent less likely than those without leave to be injured. Given that 80 percent of workers making very low wages have no access to paid sick leave, the need to heed these findings on workplace injuries and sick leave is urgent.

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