Monday, November 16, 2009

Sick Leave

I have just been on the fine public health blog Effect Measure, where I found this quote from the English paper The Independent:

The United States is one of only five countries in the world without a national policy on paid sick leave, (Senator Chris) Dodd said.

"We're in the company - and I say this respectfully of these countries - of Lesotho, Liberia, Papua-New Guinea and Swaziland. Those countries and the United States are the five that don't have paid sick leave," Dodd said.

"Five nations, four of whom are struggling economies, barely surviving as nation-states, and the richest country in the world," he told a hearing in the Senate health, education, labor and pensions subcommittee.

And here is a comment by Revere, the public health doc who runs Effect Measure:

There are an estimated 57 million private sector workers without sick leave who are much more likely to go to work while sick or send their children to school when they are sick. The attack rate for this virus isn't know with certainty, but CDC is using a reasonable estimate of 10% of workplace contacts. It might be more or it might be less but it is avoidable. Dodd has introduced emergency legislation to require paid sick days for influenza, but it's not likely to pass nor is it any where near sufficient. Republicans have already announced their opposition on the grounds it would hurt an "already aching economy."


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