Regardless of illness, many workers find themselves unable to take time off from work.

Wired PR News – Health officials and the president alike have remarked in the past several days that workers who may feel ill should stay home to help diminish the risks of furthering the spread of the swine flu virus. However, as reported by the Associated Press (AP), many workers find that they do not have that as an option.

Debra Ness with the National Partnership for Women and Families is quoted in the report as stating of the issue, “The problem has really come into sharp relief the past few days… Many people don’t even realize that almost half the private sector — 48 percent — has no sick days, not even a single one.” Ness is further quoted as adding, “We have officials telling people to stay home when they’re sick… Well, guess what? That can be the beginning of economic disaster for many, especially in this economy.”

As noted in the report, studies have shown that numerous individuals go to work with contagious illnesses due to a lack of flexible sick days or paid sick leave. Many, including some members of Congress are advocating for measures that would provide more workers with this benefit. Some believe the scare of the swine flu outbreak will help bolster such legislation.

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