Sick People Going to Work

I recently ended a job working for a “big box” retailer in a little town.  Prior to this, I had never worked for an employer that hadn’t paid for sick time.  This particular retailer had us earning sick time, based on the hours worked, however, the first day of any sickness was not a “paid” day off.  During my 7 1/2 months of employment, I did get ill a couple of times — one illness lasted 16 days straight.  Out of those sixteen days, I was actually away from my workplace for 3 days in total.  It happened to be a viral illness that couldn’t be treated with medication, and fluids and rest would have eased the symptoms significantly.  Luckily, I had a few weekends in that span of time to do some recuperating, but ultimately, if I hadn’t had to go to work, would the illness have lasted so long?

Going to work ill was not a great experience — not for me and certainly not for the customers and the staff I worked with.  So, why did I do it?  Ummm…for the money?  Of course.  On my meager wage, I could barely pay my bills, let alone have a “buffer” to create an “emergency fund.”  So, if my employer couldn’t support me while I was ill, who else would?

This article spurred my interest in writing about the topic today because it lets me know I am not alone.  In whose best interest is it that an employee go to work sick?  Nobodies.

To your health AND prosperity.


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Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 Money & Employment, Money & Health/Wellbeing

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