How to Fight the Flu in the Office? Try Paid Sick Leave


While some companies offer paid sick leave to all of their employees, others leave workers with a tough choice to make — go to work while sick or take unpaid time off?

In 2018, paid sick leave was available to 71 percent of civilians employed in the private sector. It was available to 91 percent of civilians working for state or local governments.

Among full-time civilian employees, 85 percent had access to sick pay. In comparison, only 40 percent of part-time workers received this benefit.

Low-income employees were significantly less likely than high-income workers to receive sick pay. Only 31 percent of the lowest-paid workers received it, compared to 93 percent of the highest-paid workers.

Sick pay coverage was particularly low in the service industry, as well as in construction, extraction, farming, fishing, and forestry jobs.


Nearly half of people who were employed in private-sector service jobs lacked access to paid sick leave in 2018.

“That includes food service workers and a lot of health service workers,” LeaAnne DeRigne, MSW, PhD, an associate professor of social work at Florida Atlantic University, told Healthline.

“Those are places where you don’t want sick people,” she continued, “rolling your burritos or pushing you down a hallway in a hospital.”