Should Employers Forget About Sick Days for Now?
I couldn't believe it this afternoon when I got the phone call. A person that I know very well, that I haven't seen in about a month or so, texted me that she had a fever.
"What?!?!?!?!" I texted back.
She was at work. I told her to go home immediately.
"I can't," she said, "I don't have any more sick days."
"I don't think the company is caring about sick days right now," I texted. Granted, I don't know if that's true. I have no idea if her company is still counting sick days. I'm sure that none of her coworkers would be happy to know that they were working next to someone that was hiding a fever!
Then she dropped the bomb on me. Apparently, she has had a fever for about three days now. THREE DAYS??
She is doing exactly what health officials have told her not to do. Trust me, she's not a bad person. She is a super hard worker and is selfless by nature. She is just worried because she doesn't have any more time to take.
We are at a tipping point right now. People need to be able to go home without hesitation if and when they feel sick. If people with fevers are hesitating to call in sick because of a lack of available sick days, that is certainly not helping the cause.
President Trump is working on emergency action to allow for extended paid medical leave for those who are ill during this time of the coronavirus, just so something like this doesn't happen.
"If you are sick or not feeling well, stay home," Trump said. "To ensure that working Americans impacted by the virus can stay home without fear of financial hardship, I will soon be taking emergency action, which is unprecedented, to provide financial relief. This will be targeted for workers who are ill, quarantined or caring for others due to coronavirus."
Hopefully, that means companies will stop counting the sick days and just let their employees get well before they return to work.