Why most American workers refuse to take a ‘sick day’

Many health care professionals work while they are sick according to a new survey from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 83 percent of doctors, physicians assistants and nurse practitioners admitted to being ill at work at least once in the past year, even though they knew doing so could put patients at risk. Many said they did not want to let their co-workers or patients down, according to JAMA Pediatrics.

Workers outside of the medical field, however, are more likely to call in sick. According to a 2014 survey by Staples, only 60 percent of people say they will show up to the office, even when they know they are ill. Most employers, 90 percent, just prefer workers stay home if they have the sniffles. The survey shows that presenteeism, coming to work sick, usually results in less productivity anyway.

So why do workers make the morning commute when they’re sick? 40 percent of survey participants said they felt too much was going on at the office to skip even one day. In addition to that, 31 percent of responders said they felt their bosses appreciated their presence, even when sick. Others simply can’t take a sick day for financial reasons. The Huffington Post reports that about four in 10 American workers are not covered by any sick leave plan.

Experts say when it comes to the question of “Should I stay, or Should I go?” – use the golden rule. How would you feel if a coworker came in with the same symptoms you have and plopped down in the cubicle next to you?



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