Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Being Sick Doesn’t Pay

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

There’s a price to pay for coming down with the cold. InAmerica, 44 million people don’t have paid sick leave. Employees are forced to either show up at work coughing and sniffling, or risk losing their income, or even their jobs. A deeper look at the issue, plus the halachos of calling in sick.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

sick at workBeing penalized or fired for calling in sick sounds like something that only happens in infamous sweatshop-like toy companies inChina. But shockingly, it happens in the supposedly democratic West, too. Just last year, one of the biggest online shopping agencies made headlines when it was revealed that the company forced their packing staff to work seven days a week and threatened them with dismissal if they took time off for being sick.   

More than 145 countries provide some form of paid sick leave, with 127 (includingIsrael) providing a week or more annually and 98 (including theUK) paying for over a month. TheUS, however, is the only one of 22 highly developed nations that does not provide any form of paid sick leave.

In the private sector, 40 percent of workers have no paid sick leave. Among low-income earners, two thirds have no paid sick leave, and inNew York Cityalone, 50 percent of workers — 1,580,000 people — don’t get paid if they’re sick. Across the nation, that translates to a massive 44 million workers.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 does guarantee certain eligible workers’ jobs if they have to take sick leave, but it doesn’t require employers to pay workers during that time. Some jurisdictions in theUShave passed and put into practice paid sick leave laws — namely,San Francisco,Connecticut,WashingtonDC, andSeattle. There are also bills pending in other states such asMassachusettsandCalifornia. InNew York City, the majority of council members support a proposed city law to provide paid sick leave, but it won’t be brought to vote until the economy gets stronger — which could take a while.

 

  To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.


Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you