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Stay Home When You're Sick!

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the health-is-a-team-game dept.

Medicine 670

theodp writes "If you've got Google CEO Larry Page's billions, you can reduce your chances of getting sick this winter by personally providing free flu shots to all San Francisco Bay Area kids at Target pharmacies. 'Vaccinating children,' explains the Shoo the Flu initiative's website, 'will not only improve children's health, it will also dramatically reduce the risk of the flu spreading to adults.' But Tim Olshansky doesn't have Page's money, so he'll have to settle for trying to get it through people's thick heads that they really have to stay home when they're sick. 'Why do people still come to the office when they're coughing up a lung?' asks the exasperated Olshansky. 'Because unfortunately, there is a still a strong perverse culture that equates staying at home when sick with weakness. This is a flawed belief and should be questioned. Given that we have the tools now to complete most tasks from home, there is no strong reason to compel people to come to the workplace.' So, does your employer encourage employees to stay home when they're sick? How?"

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Employment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215137)

I live in America, so I don't have an employer to worry about because nobody's employed. I pass my sick time chronically masturbating in the spare bedroom of my parents' house, where I reside.

Uh, nice try (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215145)

So, basically, stay home, but keep working? Remember when sick days were to allow you to actually rest?

Re:Uh, nice try (5, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215285)

So, basically, stay home, but keep working? Remember when sick days were to allow you to actually rest?

Like yesterday. A colleague phoned in sick, but we received an email from her a little later.

We told our manager, who emailed the sick colleague and reminded her that she should rest if she's ill (or otherwise follow medical advice). It's stupid to worry about work, or do any work, when that's likely to delay your return to work.

Of course, this wasn't in America.

Re:Uh, nice try (3, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215331)

No. Not at all.
The base case is someone who got up, and has the plan to go to work. The article says that if you are ill, you should consider to work at home.

They actually say that we should lower the threshold of when we call in sick. But also that we should consider an intermediate solution for when you're not so sick: work from home. It is a win-win: you recover quicker, and you don't contaminate your colleagues.

How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215151)

By firing us if we don't show up to work!

Re:How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215235)

Indeed, it's not about appearing weak, it's about being terminated.

And this includes hospital nurses. Seriously, you want to see a group of people working when they shouldn't, go to your local hospital.

Re:How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (5, Insightful)

msk (6205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215291)

It's high time for the creators and enforcers of policies like this to be held liable for endangering the public.

Re:How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (5, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215473)

I've always thought that a supervisor who insists that a sick employee come to work should talk to the employee in person. In close quarters. After they recover, maybe they'll be more generous with sick time.

Re:How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (2)

Woldry (928749) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215581)

I don't want my supervisor in the bathroom with me when I'm home with an intestinal bug. Hell, I don't want my supervisor anywhere near my home.

Re:How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (5, Insightful)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215557)

Some people literally cant afford to be sick, I.E. you don't work you don't get paid.

I've known people to get bad yearly reviews because they used too much sick time.

I've known people to not get promotions specifically on the grounds that they used too much of their sick time.

Not more than they had but too much.

Oh and if your out more than 2 days don't forget your doctors note, because you have to goto a doctor and pay your non-reimbursable copay (if you have insurance) for them to confirm: yes you are sick and should stay home.

Re:How do they 'encourage' us to stay home? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215603)

By firing us if we don't show up to work.

That's a common misconception. I never hesitate to stay home if I'm really sick and feel that I may make others sick. I feel free to use the "sick" or just plain "absent" option in our time tracking system (that's why it's there - duh). I have never had anyone question my sick days at any employer. I only use that when I'm actually sick, and fortunately that's only been between 0 and say 6 days in a given year, but I have never had anyone question it. Sure, if someone is abusing it and claiming sickness when they're not, or taking a day of because of a minor cold, perhaps they should get fired. But don't confuse actual illness with being a bad employee, your boss wont - they don't want to catch that shit you've got either.

Going home sick = communism. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215153)

Going home sick means using sick time. Getting sick time means getting paid not not work. Getting paid to not work means socialism. Socialism = communism.

QED.

Re:Going home sick = communism. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215425)

You're a fucking idiot.

Socialism is not communism. Communism is socialism, but you cannot say the reverse because socialism takes many forms.

Re:Going home sick = communism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215535)

It's called a joke. I'm frankly alarmed that you didn't think that "getting paid to not work means socialism" was a load of bullshit.

Come to work or else (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215157)

It's not the sign of weakness that keeps people coming in, it's the threat of being fired. Some employers are really good about giving sick days (and bless them), but some bosses I have worked for took the line that "you come in, or else". Given the choice between spreading a cold around the office or losing my job, guess which option I took?

Re:Come to work or else (2)

emho24 (2531820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215375)

Or already having incredibly difficult timelines, and missing a day is just not acceptable.

Re:Come to work or else (2)

weiserfireman (917228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215571)

My boss eliminated sick days in 2009. The process of getting sick days was completely asinine before then even. If you worked your full scheduled shifts for a month, you earned 4 hours of sick time. If you left early one day, or had a Dr Appt, anything that caused you not get all of your hours in the month in, you didn't "earn" any sick time that month

Tying sick time to attendance was always a jerk move. He started at this company for minimum wage out of high school and 25 years later is President. He tries to make everyone act like he envisions himself moving up through the ranks...

Sick leaves (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215163)

Aren't in the US sick leaves taken from your holiday ? You might then have your response right there. Because in europe they are not, and you are quite encouraged (at least in my firm) to take the day off when you are a virus mothership spreading thema round coughing.

Re:Sick leaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215201)

Not usually. Most have vacation days and sick days as separate things.

Re:Sick leaves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215329)

My last 3 jobs spanning 10+ years have all used the vague "PTO" for everything.

Re:Sick leaves (1)

CaptKeen (92992) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215369)

Aren't in the US sick leaves taken from your holiday ? You might then have your response right there. Because in europe they are not, and you are quite encouraged (at least in my firm) to take the day off when you are a virus mothership spreading thema round coughing.

Not usually. Most have vacation days and sick days as separate things.

If you are in California, this is probably true, but I haven't seen it as such outside of CA in a while - my past few employers have had different policies for CA and 'everywhere else' and the everywhere else policy funneled everything under PTO

Re:Sick leaves (3, Insightful)

angryfirelord (1082111) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215245)

Exactly. Until vacation time is put into law as a mandatory requirement, then people will come in when they're sick in order to ration the few days that they have off. Employers will only give the bare minimum that doesn't make them too unattractive to employees and most employers lump vacation time with sick time.

Re:Sick leaves (1)

adonoman (624929) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215307)

Why do you have to take a sick day to work from home? If you're healthy enough to drag yourself to work, your healthy enough to drag yourself to your computer and telecommute. You still get the work done, but you don't spread it to others.

If your office doesn't allow this, then that's something that needs to change. I'm not saying that you can change it - it's a whole cultural view that needs to change.

Re:Sick leaves (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215463)

depends on the job

some IT can WFH. our networking guys almost always get their hands dirty touching routers in the office. help desk is setting up new computers.

doctors can't see patients from home. plumbers can't work from home. sales people can't sell from home either

Re:Sick leaves (1)

berashith (222128) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215351)

I have worked under both poicies. I am very up front with my bosses that having my sick time pull from my available vacation time means that I will not be using that time to be sick. My paid time off is to be enjoyed. If they dont want the office getting sick because my kids are in school and therefore disease vectors, then they dont remove my vacation time. People who abuse time off should be fired, but I havent ever actually met one of these people.

Re:Sick leaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215405)

No. I get 4 weeks of vacation, one week of holidays and another week of sick days to use as I wish.

Those 4 weeks are the maximum I will get, our company starts at 2 weeks per year and grants an additional week for every further 5 years of tenure -- and yes I do use them every year.

Also, if someone who works for me shows up sick, I send them home.

Re:Sick leaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215427)

depends on who you work for. I don't think there is any leave guaranteed by law except the FMLA laws (basically maternity, taking care of dependents) which are unpaid leave (it basically says you can't fire someone for being on maternity leave; you don't have to pay them either).

Re:Sick leaves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215583)

At the University of Illinois, employees are given a generous number of vacation days and an equally generous set of sick days. Compared to my last employer (who only gave up to 3 weeks of combined holiday/sick days), I find that I'm more likely to stay home when I'm sick. The reason is that I use so few sick days, and since they're separate from vacation days, I'm more likely to use them if I need them.

In short, I completely agree that more companies should make separate sick and holiday days and provide a sufficient number of both.

Wasting Sick days (4, Insightful)

bagboy (630125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215167)

I'd say most people with the common chest/head cold don't want to waste their sick days for something less severe. If I'm hung over, puking up a lung and have a freight train driving through my head - then yes, it's time to use a sick day!

Re:Wasting Sick days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215411)

If I'm hung over, puking up a lung and have a freight train driving through my head - then yes, it's time to use a sick day!

That sounds like an abuse of a sick day. You being hungover doesn't really present a risk to your coworkers. You coughing and sneezing, on the other hand, does.

Re:Wasting Sick days (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215553)

I take it you've never been vomited on.

Re:Wasting Sick days (5, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215587)

I have a better idea; how about you don't drink so much on a work night that you will be unable to come in to work the next day! That way, you will have sick days left for when you have communicable diseases, and I won't have to catch them!

Incorrect conclusions (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215171)

"Because unfortunately, there is a still a strong perverse culture that equates staying at home when sick with weakness. This is a flawed belief and should be questioned."

That's not it at all. People still go to work when they're sick because:

A: They don't want to use up sick days unless they absolutely have to because if they get sick without having any time left, they don't get paid
B: Some employers equate staying home sick with "not being a team player" (or some variant thereof) and will actively discourage any time off unless forced

Re:Incorrect conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215295)

You do realize your point B as essentially his also.

What are sick days? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215301)

You're missing C: Many employers don't give sick days anymore, and require people to use their vacation time. I haven't had separate paid sick days for over a decade, and with limited vacation time I can't afford to stay home unless I'm simply incapable of going to work...

Socialism and Unions (4, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215321)

Take two, you'll feel better in the morning.

Re:Incorrect conclusions (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215347)

The reason for blue-collar workers is even more clear:

C: Some people are paid hourly and don't get any kind of paid time off, so missing a day of work is losing cash that they need to pay the rent.

Re:Incorrect conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215481)

C: They have used all their sick leave up with other illnesses (e.g. FMLA leave).

Re:Incorrect conclusions (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215513)

Don;t forget C: corporate policies combining sick and vacation days, with typical American piddly vacation.

No one wants to work on christmas eve because they got sick earlier in the year.

Re:Incorrect conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215525)

C. It puts an excessive strain on the coworkers (I suppose this could be a variant of B.)

I teach mathematics at a community college. If I'm gone my boss must (college policy) try to find substitutes for me. Nobody wants to find out that they're going to have to skip their lunch that day to substitute for someone else's class. I'm not sure what the solution is, but it is a problem. It could partially be alleviated by longer semesters and more instructor freedom to cancel their own classes, but I don't think that option would be popular either. We've discussed how nice it would be to have a full time "substitute" for the department, but it would be difficult to justify financially.

This is similar for just about any service department...if someone is gone, the slack must be picked up by others. Its human nature to resent those that you percieve as creating an increased workload, even if it is due to illness.

(FYI - I get ample sick time, which does acrue...I've been here for less than a decade and could still probably take off an entire semester due to illness)

limited sick days (4, Informative)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215173)

if you have kids you have to leave enough days to stay home with sick kids. that means you get your a$$ into the office and infect everyone else if you get sick

my oldest kid was sick literally every 2-3 weeks at one point while in day care. he spent just over a year taking anti-biotics almost non stop

What a fucking idiot. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215181)

Who uses sick days to be sick? If I'm going to be sick and miserable, I'd rather be at work!

Re:What a fucking idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215287)

Wally, go home and take a shower.

indeed, sick days aren't for sickness (5, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215435)

everyone knows sick days are for:
1. hangovers, or continuing benders
2. doing something important or fun that can only be done during workday
3. job interview

but as for going to work and making your boss or asshole coworkers sick, so what? fuck 'em!

Not everyone can work at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215195)

Put a SIPRnet connection in my home and I'll be happy to work from there and not come in when I'm sick.

Re:Not everyone can work at home (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215259)

if the general's mistress can take classified computers home, why can't you?

Re:Not everyone can work at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215317)

i'm not the boss's sex partner

Re:Not everyone can work at home (3, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215357)

Well, you know what you need to do...

Not encouraged to stay at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215199)

I find this to be true for most businesses; officially you may be encouraged to stay at home when you are ill, but in reality your manager will "joke" and make references to "man flu" and even mention to you that your amount of sick days are above average for a year.

When your manager does these things, he is encouraging you to come in to work when sick, even if he/she doesn't realise it. Nobody wants to be seen as taking the piss with sick leave even though even if everyone was completely genuine, there HAS to be somebody in the office with above average number of sick days.

People don't want to go to work when they're sick. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215215)

What the hell is it with people thinking that people actually want to go to work when they're sick?

They have to because they only have so many sick days and, being unable to control how many days per year they'll be sick, it's only smart to save the things until they're desperately needed. Otherwise you end up vomiting one day and have to cut into your vacation time by taking a vacation day. Wonderful vacation there, staying home vomiting all day long.

Also, don't forget that employers hate it when their employees aren't at work. "You're sick? Fuck you, get your ass in here and earn me some money. I'll be sure not to give you such a large share of it that you can even afford to think about not coming in to work when you're sick, you selfish bastard. Worship my job-creating awesomeness!"

People go to work when they're sick because they don't have a choice. Same reason they drive to work even after some unavoidable event kept them awake all night.

Re:People don't want to go to work when they're si (1)

thejam (655457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215399)

They have to because they only have so many sick days and, being unable to control how many days per year they'll be sick, it's only smart to save the things until they're desperately needed. Otherwise you end up vomiting one day and have to cut into your vacation time by taking a vacation day. Wonderful vacation there, staying home vomiting all day long. ..SNIP.. People go to work when they're sick because they don't have a choice.

So you're saying people would rather to spread sickness to others than use up their vacation. That sounds like choice to me.

It's not a case of being macho (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215221)

It'It's a case of the employer demanding people come into work sick. They get mad if you call in sick and think you are lying or exaggerating about your illness. Many a person has been fired for staying home sick. We don't all have nice employers who treat us well. Also some of us can't afford to take time off of work because we are paid by the hour. It can mean the difference between making rent that month or not. Some employers insist that you get $20 doctors note saying you’re sick with the flu before you allowed back to work after an illness. It is employer’s way of discouraging people from calling in sick.

Sweden (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215225)

Not sure how it works in USA, but in Sweden the "default" rule (= the minimum that you as a company must do) is that on your first sick day, you get no salary. After that, you get 80% of your salary. If you come back and become sick again, the cycle repeats.

However, many companies, include mine, have taken a more generous stand. We give you 80% from day one, and if you feel sufficiently well that you can still be somewhat productive at home (e.g. answer mail or whatever), you get 100%.

Policy change (5, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215229)

My company used to have a policy of "stay home when you are sick" and didn't force you to use vacation leave when you were sick. You just called in sick and that was it. And the company did fine. Sure, a few people abused it, but that happens with any benefit.

Then they changed the policy so that sick time came out of your vacation. Now people show up to work sick all the time.

Stupid, I tell you.

No sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215239)

Is he saying that people shouldnt' come into work with flu (fair enough, but I can't believe that many do?) or is he saying they shouldn't come in whenever they have a cold (which seems a bit much - I'd probably get a couple of months off a year if I did that)?

Re:No sure (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215573)

Is he saying that people shouldnt' come into work with flu (fair enough, but I can't believe that many do?) or is he saying they shouldn't come in whenever they have a cold (which seems a bit much - I'd probably get a couple of months off a year if I did that)?

Maybe you should wonder why you get so many colds? If you don't have kids I bet you're catching them at work.

Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (2)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215253)

We get 5 weeks of vacation per year(not counting holidays). We can use it how we need to. I have had this my last 2 employers now and it makes sense. Whether you want to take off for Christmas, goof off or if you get the flu, to the company its all the same.

Re:Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215315)

No it doesn't make sense. People *need* vacation to remain healthy. Being ill is not the same as having a vacation. It's thinking like this that lead to stressed employees.

Re:Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215401)

unless you have something wrong with you that makes you have a likely outcome of getting sick very often there is no way that you would need more than 5 weeks for vacation for a year and sick leave. Most places give you 3 weeks of vacation and 1 or 2 weeks of sick leave. I was more on the line of administratively it makes sense , no need to have a separate "sick leave" code or anything. Its just all thrown into the same bucket.

Re:Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215419)

i should also add that if you are sick but not deadly sick you can stay and work from home. So thats a nice little bone they throw us.

Re:Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215493)

really? unless you spend some ridiculous amount of money for a nice vacation i get bored pretty quick.

ohh, its the 3rd day at the beach this week. so exciting

Re:Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215395)

We get 5 weeks of vacation per year(not counting holidays). We can use it how we need to. I have had this my last 2 employers now and it makes sense. Whether you want to take off for Christmas, goof off or if you get the flu, to the company its all the same.

Where I work, I get six weeks of vacation per year (not counting holidays). I use it to go on holiday, or take a day off for my leisure.

If I'm ill, I don't go into work. If I'm ill for less than seven days I fill in a form. If it's longer than seven days, I have to have a note from a doctor (which is free).

I get paid either way.

Re:Where I work - no such thing as "sick leave" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215403)

It's not really all the same, at least to the people you work with. If you take a scheduled vacation, people can plan for it, make arrangements, etc. If you're out sick, then some unexpectedly inherits your responsibilities. At my job, we get 3-4 weeks vacations (depending on tenure), and 12 sick days (one a month). I think that's a fair balance for most people.

Why not stay home when I am lightly sick? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215257)

I have a mortgage to pay and 2 sick days a year.

Even more important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215261)

keeping your kids home from daycare or school when they are sick so my kids don't get sick and then stick their fingers in my mouth, spreading the love.

Staying home significantly disrupts life (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215265)

This has nothing to do with weakness.

Truth is that missing work sucks. If you can't find someone to cover for you while you are sick, you risk losing your job.

And forget about staying home if you're a college or graduate student. Miss a single one of those upper level math/science classes and suddenly you're in a hole that can be very difficult to climb out of.

The other side of the coin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215267)

There is also a strong, perverse culture where most workers who stay home sick get fucked with twice as much work to do the next day they come in (and god forbid you are out for more than one day). Poor management organization requiring one worker to basically be responsible for a slice of work without a clear ability to offload is pretty much the norm in the US. Change that and maybe workers wouldn't see such a strong disadvantage to staying home (or, even less likely, get companies to truly embrace telecommuting for ANY knowledge worker, not just the pampered ones).

Peer pressure (1)

adonoman (624929) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215269)

If we're sick enough to be contagious, but healthy enough to work, we telecommute. If we show up sick and coughing everyone yells at you to go home. There's nothing I do at work, that I can't do at home just as well, other than maintain a team dynamic, and a few days working from home now and then don't hurt that.

Re:Peer pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215529)

I have had one to many times where I have called in sick and gotten snide remarks over the phone and when I got back about slacking off and whatnot. I finally decided that that was not worth going through, so I started showing up sick until my boss during the morning rounds told me to leave and, I found out, they did not take my sick days because I had a "verified illness."

Another problem, and this also explains why people don't want to take FMLA or vacation leave is because they are worried that the company will figure out how to get along without them. I have a friend who got fired because she took her FMLA leave because she had a baby. Well, they jockeyed people around while she was gone and within two months of coming back to work, her stellar performance reviews turned into negative reviews and was fired shortly thereafter. At her current job, she got the best email ever a few weeks into her FMLA leave for her second baby, which said something to the effect of, "The boss said I shouldn't send this, but you really need to come back. We are falling apart without you!"

Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215275)

My company, though located in Sweden, have taken this generous stand.

When home sick, you still get 80% of your full salary, regardless of the length of your illness (the default law in Sweden is that you get no salary on day one, but 80% after that. That is, we skip the day one part). However, if you feel sufficiently well so that you are able to be somewhat productive, meaning answer mails or whatnot, you get 100%.

No More Sick Time (1)

DoomHamster (1918204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215277)

I haven't worked for a company that actually has sick days in over a decade. Even salaried employees like myself have to use their vacation time if they get sick (how does that make sense?). Fortunately, I can work from home whenever I want but most others do not have that luxury.

I understand that many employers have made this move because people would abuse sick time, but if they implemented a system whereby employees could draw from their sick pool instead of vacation pool if they presented a doctor's note, I think that productivity overall would increase.

Re:No More Sick Time (1)

Geeky (90998) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215441)

Not sure if it's law yet, but there's a move in the UK, maybe driven by the EU, to allow you to reclaim holiday days if you're sick on your holiday time. So take a day off as vacation, but get sick and you maybe able to convert it to a sick day, and keep the holiday entitlement for some other time. To me, that one sounds overly generous and open to abuse.

Re:No More Sick Time (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215589)

I haven't worked for a company that actually has sick days in over a decade. Even salaried employees like myself have to use their vacation time if they get sick (how does that make sense?). Fortunately, I can work from home whenever I want but most others do not have that luxury.

I understand that many employers have made this move because people would abuse sick time, but if they implemented a system whereby employees could draw from their sick pool instead of vacation pool if they presented a doctor's note, I think that productivity overall would increase.

Damned if you do, etc. Back when I was in a corporation which gave like 5 sick days separate from vacation time, people would rush to be "sick" in December so as not to waste their sick days. Now sick days and vacation days are lumped into PTO days, and if you are not a long time employee you risk being sick and not being able to take a whole week off to travel on a vacation.

And fuck any system which makes you get a doctor's note. If I feel crappy enough to stay home, the last thing I want to do is drag myself to the doctor's office. At least with the PTO system the company doesn't care if you took the day to be sick or rake leaves.

Flu can last a week or more (3, Insightful)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215279)

I had the flu a few years back, took 2 weeks to shake it. My work only allots 5 days for sick leave per year. After that its either take vacation days to be compensated or take unpaid leave. I took a few sick days for the worst of it and then sucked it up the following week and just came in to work. I did not want to cut into my vacation time. Call me selfish but that's that way its is. And I doubt I spread it because I always wash my hands, keep away from the coffee pot and sit in a cubical. Thankfully i don't get sick very often.

I throw their diseased carcasses out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215297)

You show up sick in our department and I throw you out for being so damn stupid!

Boycott Google! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215303)

It's been scientifically proven that vaccinations are causing almost as many later-life ailments and cancers as smoking does. If you want your kid to live past 45, DO NOT have them vaccinated. It's not natural.

If Google wants to do this, then I'm no longer using their services.

Re:Boycott Google! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215495)

It's been scientifically proven

Then prove it or STFU, wanker.

Luckily, you'll be dead soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215563)

From some sort of lurgy.

Well, let's see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215333)

If I come to work sick, nothing bad happens to me. If I stay home, I have to use some of my scarce vacation time to do so. We don't get sick days here in the USA, and while we do get vacation days, we only get a few. By the time I have to burn them for house and car repair emergencies I can't take any actual "vacation" as it is. If I burned any as sick days I'd really be in a heap of hurt.

So, stay home being miserable while losing a precious vacation day or go to work and be miserable without losing anything.

Duh. :-)

It depends (1)

netbuzz (955038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215337)

Among those who have the luxury of a stay-at-home spouse or for whom daycare expenses are not a consideration, I'll bet a lot more people come into the office sick during the summer and school vacation weeks.

Who Gets Sick Days? (1)

jenniferj (16471) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215339)

I work in the service industry - which I enjoy - but there are no sick days for the people who bag your groceries or new shoes. If we want our paltry pay, we drag our sick selves to work and try not to sneeze too much on your produce. "Stay home," they say. I wish!

Deadlines don't change (1)

Whatsmynickname (557867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215345)

This has nothing to do with "appearing weak". This has everything to do with deadlines not moving despite you being sick. Employers don't care about you being sick, they just want something shipped, and if you can't do that, they will find someone who will.

Re:Deadlines don't change (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215565)

You're quite correct.

And when someone who's sick goes into work anyway, and transmits their cold and flu to others who then need to take sick days, the deadlines of those other employees don't change either.

The viral recipient employees appreciate that fact very easily. It's a wonder that the viral originators, not to mention the employers, don't.

It's such an antisocial workplace statement to make. "I'm not rearranging my work schedule because I'm sick - five of the rest of you guys can rearrange yours because I'm sick. Enjoy." That this unspoken statement doesn't make it onto many peoples' radars appears to be a testament to how many people don't have their moral compass active on a consistent basis.

I work in a cesspool (1)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215355)

Sorry but I work in an enormous office complex where international folks are in and out all day long spreading their germs and diseases. I'm sick 3-4 months out of the year as a result and I only get 8 paid sick days a year, the rest is my precious vacation time. If I dont come to work, I don't get paid. I'm not staying home when I can come to work and spread the love.

Nailheads being hit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215361)

The above comments are quite true. Most people I know won't take a sick day unless they absolutely have to. With the decline of worker unions and the rise of the corporate state, everyone is in fear of being fired, replaced, unemployed and eventually homeless. What's the phrase that my boss uses?

"You should be happy you have a job to go to. A lot of people don't." ...and like that, the boss has just discouraged everyone from taking a sick day when needed. The thought of being unemployed is enough to get people to show up and work when sick.

I've got co-workers who have kids (I do not) and they all use their sick time solely for when their kids are sick.

The company I work for treats your "sick time" and "vacation time" the same. If you need a sick day, you just lost a vacation day. We're all pretty much in agreement at work that if you're gonna be miserable because you're sick, you may as well go to work and be miserable. Save the days off for when you can enjoy the time.

Simple pro-corporate culture (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215383)

This is simply a side effect of the anti-labor mentality that has been encouraged in the US since the 80s. Corporations are people and they are expected to be as crass as possible. The needs of the individual are irrelevant. It's only corporations that matter. You should feel lucky that some "job creator" allows you to be employed. You should be happy to be exploited with impugnity and without recourse.

Sick days? That's a commie anarchist idea.

This is the new Guilded Age. Get back to work.

Re:Simple pro-corporate culture (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215487)

Corporations are 'people' in the sense that the interests of shareholders and senior managers trump anybody else's.

Market discipline and austerity are for us niggers. The rich, uber alles.

I work from home you insensitive clod! (1)

NevarMore (248971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215385)

How the hell am I supposed to go home and avoid my cowirkers when I have the flu?

Safer in a personal office? (4, Insightful)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215397)

I wonder if there is a study on the rate of definite infection by disease among those in an open-plan office space versus those in a personal office.

It might be that those promoting a "come in, or else" policy might be relatively unlikely to personally suffer any consequence of it.

Nice Idea, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215409)

SMEs cannot afford to do this.
My employer will not pay me for the first 3 days I am sick, after that I get full pay. It's pretty reasonable IMO, but as I cannot afford to lose a day or twos wages so I have no choice but to go in to work.

On the other hand, if I got all my sick days paid, I'd definitely abuse it once or twice a year.. I'd imagine a large majority would.

Contagious before Symptoms. (5, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215429)

From what I understand contagion and symptoms are not really linked.
In many cases you are most contagious before you even know you are sick, in others you are still very contagious after you recover completely. It depends on the specific illness.

Staying home when you feel bad is about not working when you physically cannot work and not really very good at all at stopping the spread of these illnesses.

Now personally, I like working when I am sick. I would rather work when I am sick and have time off while I am healthy. But that depends a lot on the nature and severity of the illness, as well as the job.

Re:Contagious before Symptoms. (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215545)

Thank you for a sensible response to balance out the slew of 'all employers suck' nonsense. Sorry no mod points atm. I've seen a growing trend of employers with unlimited sick days or something similar. Can't say whether or not that is global, just my observation. So much for the growing 'anti labor mentality'

whats worse is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215437)

that during a brief time while working in the food service industry as both a waiter and a chef, calling in sick was not considered 'acceptable'

this, was appalling. I cant think of how many people got sick as a result of their waiter having a cold or the flu and not being allowed to call off. and on top of that, who the hell would want to get their food delivered by someone who is coughing and sneezing all over the place?
maybe that's why they went out of business

By not providing us with sick pay or paid time off (0)

DeadTOm (671865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215449)

Also not providing us with insurance. We also can get fired or otherwise disciplined for taking too many days off when we're sick. Like say, three solid days of vomiting and diarrhea that they feel would have been much better spent at work. This is the norm in the US, not the exception.

How many sick days do you get per year ? (1)

nomad63 (686331) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215453)

For me, it is a gaping zero ! I have total of 15 workdays under the name of PTO (Paid Time Off) or MTO (Managed Time Off). Use them when you are sick or when you want to take a day or two off for vacation. Also I have a generous holiday allowance, which amounts to a whopping 6 days per year.

I don't know about you but, I like taking vacations. since 3 weeks is barely enough for taking a vacation and maybe going to somewhere exotic to really break away from the hustle and bustle of the IT shop I'm working at, I have no time left to take off, when I am really sick. You know what ? If I am well enough to drive 30 minutes to the office, you can be sure that I will be "working" that day. At which capacity, is another million dollar question.

So, the employers, who prefer you not to spread your germs to the rest of the healthy population of the company, should re-think about their sick days policy. If you are combining them with the vacations days and forcing employees to take off sick days out of their meager vacation allowance, you are inflicting this onto yourself. I, for one, will not make accommodations for an employer, who make no accommodations for me.

paid time off vs sick leave + vacation (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215457)

For several years the companies I've worked for combined sick leave with vacation -- too many people were taking "sick leave" when they just wanted a day off. The people who were honest about it got the short end of the stick. So, rather than demand a doctors note that you were sick, the companies combined sick leave with vacation and called it paid time off.

Now Steve Moron thinks he has 3 weeks "vacation" a year when he really has 3 weeks PTO. When's he's sick, he doesn't want to take vacation and comes in and gets everyone else sick.

The reasons are simple (2)

tatman (1076111) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215547)

1) Usually the time away sick is taken away from time for vacation. In the US, PTO is becoming more the norm which lumps vacation and sick all together. Even when you did get sick time, it was poor. 3 days or 5 days. With one bout of the flu, its gone. If you have kids, then you know you will be taking more time away because they are sick and it comes out of your vacation time. 2) Schedules and deadlines don't change because you were sick. You expected to work overtime, make it up, etc etc. There's nothing wrong with the work ethic, if you want to, but when its expected, the stress of it can be worse than muddling through the day at the office sick 3) I cannot count on my hands how many times I have seen employers dock employees reviews because they "took so much sick time". You were sick. Poor thing. No raise for you! 4) Social attitudes. If you call in sick and are found to be "lying", you even risk getting fired. So people do not want to call in sick for fear of assumption that others will think your lying. PTO is suppose to address this but it still happens.

Mixed messages (1)

Woldry (928749) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215549)

Many employers encourage you to stay home when you're sick -- and then punish you either directly or passive-aggressively when you do.

Just Wear A Mask (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215577)

If you are infective and can't/won't be absent, then just wear a surgical mask. End of story.

Masks can be very effectice in preventing the spread of disease. For some reason, however, it is considered socially unacceptable to wear a mask in most public places (e.g. restaurants, schools, shopping malls). This attitude is what needs to change.

Future headline (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215591)

Too bad the vaccines will soon be found to record and store our wifi data.
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