“Blatantly Discriminating”: HR Manager Enacts New Rule Severely Limiting Employee Sick Days

Getting sick is always frustrating. It seems to happen at the worst times, when there’s an important event or holiday coming up, and illnesses love to linger around for weeks like a houseguest who’s long overstayed their welcome. But the last thing we should have to worry about while ill is how small our paycheck will be this month, or if we’ll even have a job left at all.

One Redditor recently shared that their wife’s company has a new HR manager who has made an extremely controversial choice when it comes to handling sick days. Below, you’ll find the full story, as well as some of the replies that invested readers shared.

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Sick leave is something that every company has to navigate

Image credits: Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo)

But one HR manager made a terrible mistake by deciding exactly how many sick days is enough for an entire year

Image credits: Marcus Aurelius / pexels (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Polina Tankilevitch / pexels (not the actual photo)

Image credits: BangarangJack

The average person gets sick two to four times per year

Image credits: Polina Tankilevitch / pexels (not the actual photo)

Nobody likes getting sick. Having a fever feels terrible, falling behind on work is incredibly stressful, and canceling plans with loved ones is disappointing. If we could all choose to be healthy all the time, I’m sure that most of us would. But unfortunately, human beings get sick. And according to the American Lung Association, the average adult gets two to four colds per year. (But kids get sick even more often, averaging six to eight colds annually!)

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Because of this, being able to take time off of work due to illness is a necessity. If you simply have a little cold or sore throat and your job allows you to work remotely, you might be able to stay home, isolate and work from there for the week. But if you can barely manage to get out of bed or form a coherent thought, it’s time to take a sick day. 

Despite the fact that many of us feel pressured to work through illness, whether it’s due to a fear of falling behind or facing negative consequences when returning to work, forcing yourself to work through the pain can be even more harmful. The World Economic Forum reports that 83% of employees have noticed “presenteeism,” or employees working while ill, in the past year. And only a third of employees actually believe that their bosses encourage workers to take care of their mental and physical wellbeing. 

Many Americans feel pressure not to use their sick days at all

In the United States, the average number of sick days workers are allocated per year is between seven and eight, ConnectTeam reports. But most states are not required to provide any paid sick days, unless employees choose to use some of their paid time off while they’re ill. But despite how few sick days Americans are given, many of them don’t even use those. 

A Statista survey found that over a quarter of Americans took no sick days in 2022, while 6% took only one, and 15% took three or less. And as far as the reasons why many people refused to take sick leave, 30% say it’s because they wouldn’t get paid. 55% didn’t opt for sick leave because they needed the earnings, 40% couldn’t find someone to cover their shifts, and 44% were worried there would be repercussions for calling in sick.

Despite the fact that going into work ill can make your condition even worse, spread infections to your colleagues and cause your productivity to plummet, some companies still don’t seem to see the value in providing an adequate number of sick days. But according to American Progress, it’s clear that paid sick days actually do benefit companies and employees.

Paid sick leave benefits both companies and employees

Image credits: Igal Ness / unsplash (not the actual photo)

When it comes to employees’ health, it’s crucial to have sick days available, so they have access to the medical attention they need. Scheduling doctor’s appointments can become impossible if you’re never allowed to take time off between 9-5, which can leave health issues undiagnosed and untreated. American Progress reports that access to leave is linked to “an increased likelihood of visiting a health care provider, undergoing cancer screening procedures, and receiving flu vaccines.”

Paid sick leave is also particularly important for women, as they’re more likely than men to stay home with their children when they’re sick. If women have to spend all of their sick time taking care of their kids, or have to use unpaid days to do so, they’ll end up unfairly earning less, and it might even have a negative impact on their careers. Women with paid sick leave are also more likely to get mammograms, which can help them catch cancer early on.

On the business side, American Progress reports that having access to paid sick leave increases performance and profitability, reduces turnover rates and strengthens the economy as a whole. One study even found that private sector employment was increased by 1.5% in counties that started providing paid sick days.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Then, if you’re interested in another Bored Panda article discussing similar issues, look no further than right here.  

Later, the man answered a few questions and added more information about the situation

Readers were quick to share their thoughts and suggestions, and the OP joined in on the conversation

The post “Blatantly Discriminating”: HR Manager Enacts New Rule Severely Limiting Employee Sick Days first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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