Healthcare Triage: The Benefits of Paid Sick Leave for Workers, Employers, and Pretty Much Everybody

Maybe the person working near you, the one who dragged himself to work and is now coughing and sneezing, couldn’t afford to stay home. Each week about 1.5 million Americans without paid sick leave go to work despite feeling ill. At least half of employees of restaurants and hospitals — two settings where disease is easily spread — go to work when they have a cold or the flu, according to a recent poll.

To address that issue, Chipotle began offering paid sick leave to all its employees in the United States this year. The restaurant chain is hoping to reduce the spread of infectious disease — like the norovirus outbreaks traced to its restaurants last year and earlier this year. Though many other industrialized countries already require employers to offer paid sick leave to all employees, the United States does not.  Shocked you are, I know.

That’s the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage.

Special thanks to Austin, from whose Upshot column this episode was adapted. Links to sources and further reading can be found there.



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