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People Are Pointing Out That The Lack Of Sick Days For US Employees Could Make The Spread Of Coronavirus Accelerate
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Social Issues2 years ago

People Are Pointing Out That The Lack Of Sick Days For US Employees Could Make The Spread Of Coronavirus Accelerate

At the very core of the American soul is the idea of being a hard worker. But it’s a double-edged sword. If you want get paid for your job, you have to show up to work regardless of how you feel. Even if some states require employers to offer paid sick leave, there’s no federal law mandating it in the US.

The low-paid workers are hit the worst, and this is especially true for the service industry. When it comes to the potential for coronavirus to spread in the US, this fact alone could be an undetected fatal error. Writer Lauren Hough shared an unsettling glimpse into getting sick as a bartender: “we called it bar flu because everyone had it and passed it back and forth.” In the context of the COVID-19 threat, one can imagine how flawed sick leave policy could make matters dramatically worse.

One has to learn from lessons like this, but is it too late to change something just now? Let’s dive into this discussion together.

Image credits: shopblocks (not the actual photo)

This woman pointed out that service workers have no option but to keep working while they’re sick

Image credits: laurenthehough

Image credits: laurenthehough

Image credits: laurenthehough

Image credits: laurenthehough

Lauren expressed her disappointment over the service industry practice of firing workers who call in sick

Image credits: laurenthehough

Image credits: laurenthehough

Image credits: laurenthehough

Image credits: laurenthehough

Another Twitter user declared that the sick leave policy has been flawed the whole time, but coronavirus has made it obvious

Image credits: AnandWrites

US health agencies have warned Americans that in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, people have to take these seemingly basic steps: wash hands, stay home from work if symptoms appear, and consult your doctor. But for these people whose work requires their presence—think about restaurants and bars, shops, and warehouses—working from home is not an option.

Sarah Evans, an employment expert, claims that “for a small company, having an unproductive member of staff sitting at home doing nothing on full pay will be a huge burden.” Vice versa, the competitive job market pushes the worker to the limit, since there’s always the risk of losing their job. And for many, this scenario sounds worse than handling food or serving customers while ill.

Image credits: AnandWrites

Image credits: AnandWrites

Anand shared an idea of a TV show that would expose what role society’s least insured play in the health of others

Image credits: AnandWrites

Image credits: AnandWrites

Image credits: AnandWrites

The high cost of health care and the lack of paid sick days suggest that there has to be a systematic change to control the coronavirus. David Blumenthal, president of the global health think tank the Commonwealth Fund, expressed his concern: “People with acute illness of all kinds postpone healthcare when they lack health insurance or have high deductibles.” He added that “there’s no reason to expect people with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection would not do the same.” A simple blood test sample can set you back $167 in Brooklyn and that is self-explanatory.

Yet another person shared his personal experience of working in the fast-food business

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

Image credits: NomeDaBarbarian

More people joined the heated discussion

Image credits: drerictmiller

Image credits: MGraceMens

Image credits: caseybadasey

Image credits: jennababe444

Image credits: Shereste

Image credits: Planetenherz

Image credits: TNsmartgal

Image credits: Ole_Toe

Image credits: antifashyst

Image credits: TheMerrySadist

Image credits: SanClementeJedi

This is what people had to say

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Caroline Nagel
Community Member
2 years ago

Let's be honest: the USA is not a first world country. Just the fact that middleclass people need second or even third jobs to make ends meet says it all. The infrastructure (roads,bridges, internet) is as bad as any underdeveloped country. No universal health care, because it's 'socialist'. Terrible education producing ignorance about nearly everything. Gun violence. And to top it all they have a lying cry baby as president, who throws tantrumes every time somebody 'is not nice' to him. The leader of the free world? Yeah, right.

Caroline Nagel
Community Member
2 years ago

This all makes me very proud and happy to live in social-democratic Europe.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

I'm lucky to live in Europe where reason and humanity has priority over greed. This is an American problem and Americans could solve it easily if they just stopped thinking that every legislation aimed at improving the standards and security of living is considered either "socialist" or " paying taxes to support freeloaders". When we tell Americans that we have a system where sick people can be sick for 2 years without getting fired, becoming homeless or having to pay the wages for their substitutes (like in California), they call us liars or tell us that we're living in a fairytale land. No, we live in a developed and civilised country, while the US is only developed.

Nadine
Community Member
2 years ago

I completely agree. I live in Spain and my husband was sick for over a year (he needed several operations and therapy). He never lost his job, was paid every month, and we didn't have to pay a single euro for his treatment. Where I'm working now, the moment you say "I don't feel good", the boss just responds with "go home, rest, and bring me a doctor's note." No questions asked. Visiting the doctor is free, of course, so getting the doctor's note to hand in to work only implies spending some time waiting to be seen. Man, I even missed a day of work because my elderly cat was about to die (we could see her slipping away very fast. I stayed home on a Friday and she passed away the following morning). I called in, told them what was happening, and all they said was to take care of her and to make up for the lost hours whenever it suited me best. Empathy, people!

Load More Replies...
Alex Bailey
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

The government in the UK has promised people that taking two weeks to self-isolate, if there is a possibility the person could have corona-virus, they will be paid sick-pay. No excuses for going anywhere and risking other people's health.

AnimalMetalHeadUK
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

Yeah my place has recently issued a company wide notice stating anyone with corona or suspected or in isolation whatever will be on full pay for the duration, proof will be required from Doctor of course.

Load More Replies...
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Caroline Nagel
Community Member
2 years ago

Let's be honest: the USA is not a first world country. Just the fact that middleclass people need second or even third jobs to make ends meet says it all. The infrastructure (roads,bridges, internet) is as bad as any underdeveloped country. No universal health care, because it's 'socialist'. Terrible education producing ignorance about nearly everything. Gun violence. And to top it all they have a lying cry baby as president, who throws tantrumes every time somebody 'is not nice' to him. The leader of the free world? Yeah, right.

Caroline Nagel
Community Member
2 years ago

This all makes me very proud and happy to live in social-democratic Europe.

Load More Replies...
WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

I'm lucky to live in Europe where reason and humanity has priority over greed. This is an American problem and Americans could solve it easily if they just stopped thinking that every legislation aimed at improving the standards and security of living is considered either "socialist" or " paying taxes to support freeloaders". When we tell Americans that we have a system where sick people can be sick for 2 years without getting fired, becoming homeless or having to pay the wages for their substitutes (like in California), they call us liars or tell us that we're living in a fairytale land. No, we live in a developed and civilised country, while the US is only developed.

Nadine
Community Member
2 years ago

I completely agree. I live in Spain and my husband was sick for over a year (he needed several operations and therapy). He never lost his job, was paid every month, and we didn't have to pay a single euro for his treatment. Where I'm working now, the moment you say "I don't feel good", the boss just responds with "go home, rest, and bring me a doctor's note." No questions asked. Visiting the doctor is free, of course, so getting the doctor's note to hand in to work only implies spending some time waiting to be seen. Man, I even missed a day of work because my elderly cat was about to die (we could see her slipping away very fast. I stayed home on a Friday and she passed away the following morning). I called in, told them what was happening, and all they said was to take care of her and to make up for the lost hours whenever it suited me best. Empathy, people!

Load More Replies...
Alex Bailey
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

The government in the UK has promised people that taking two weeks to self-isolate, if there is a possibility the person could have corona-virus, they will be paid sick-pay. No excuses for going anywhere and risking other people's health.

AnimalMetalHeadUK
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

Yeah my place has recently issued a company wide notice stating anyone with corona or suspected or in isolation whatever will be on full pay for the duration, proof will be required from Doctor of course.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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