Monday morning I woke up feeling horrible. I had to struggle to get myself out of bed, showered, and ready for work, but it soon became clear that I would not going to able to get to the office that day.
Luckily, I am part of the only 52 percent of Americans that has paid sick days. I was able to email my boss and let her know I would not be in the office without any fear of losing pay or losing my job. I was able to stay home, take care of myself, and get better so I could come into work today ready to get things done, instead of struggling to focus while being sick.
For the 48 percent of Americans without paid sick days, when they get sick, they have to choose between going to work sick and risking their paychecks or even their jobs. They do not have the choice to stay home and get better without ramifications. Many will go to work, be less productive, be sick longer and potentially spread their illness to their co-workers. Others will choose to stay home, and risk losing their paychecks or jobs – 1 in 6 workers say their job or the job of a family member has been threatened or lost due to the need for sick time.
Congress is currently working on legislation, the Healthy Families Act, to give all Americans the same opportunity I had Monday morning. Under this legislation, workers would have the opportunity to earn up to seven days each year to care for themselves and their families. For every 40 hours they work, an individual would earn 1 hour in sick time. Please contact your legislators and tell them we all need paid sick days!