Contagion is not just a movie

September 12, 2011

The movie Contagion is all the rage right now (thanks, Gwyneth!). But there is another kind of contagion we need to be thinking about as we enter the flu season.

Family Values @ Work, a national network of state coalitions fighting for paid sick days and paid family leave, created a great seven-minute video that highlights just a few examples of the 44 million Americans who have gone to work sick because they couldn’t afford to stay home.

Some shocking stats as cited on Family Values @ Work’s Web site:

  • During the H1N1 outbreak, 7 million Americans caught the flu from their co-workers, due in large part because of the lack of paid sick days.
  • More than 44 million workers do not have paid sick days while only 19 percent of low-wage workers have access to any paid sick days at all.
  • Workers earning low-wages are the least likely to have paid sick days.
  • Many workers with a significant interaction with the public do not have paid sick days. This includes three in four food service workers, three in five personal health care workers and three in four child care workers.
  • 1 in 6 workers have been fired or threatened with being fired for taking time off work to care for a personal or family illness.

Let’s help turn the US workplace into a human place to be. In sickness and in health.

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