• Fri, Feb 28 - 10:00 am ET

The Real Reasons No One Is Calling In Sick

woman-sick-at-work

You’re not coming in sick because you’re a jerk. You’re coming in sick because you’re afraid that calling out sick will get you fired. | Source: ShutterStock

Calling in sick is more rare now than ever, and it’s not because we’re getting healthier. It’s because, well, we’re scared.

A new study says that nearly 25 percent of American workers say they always go to work sick, and another third of American workers admit wait until their symptoms are full blown before taking a day off. What’s more, a good 40 million American workers don’t get paid sick leave, so if they call in sick, they may risk also calling in broke.

Most workers surveyed–about 42 percent–say that their real motivation for going to work while under the weather is that they’re terrified of missing deadlines on their huge workloads, while 37 percent claimed they simply can’t afford to miss a day at the office (or shop, plant, etc.).

And it turns out, their co-workers sort of hate them for it, with 57 percent saying they wish sick employees would stay home. They have a point: Studies show going to work sick is actually a public health risk, because you’re spreading germs that will later spread not just from you to your coworkers, but also from your coworkers to their kids, then to other kids at school, then to those kids’ parents … you see where this is going, right?

Bottom line: Until laws about mandatory paid sick leave are reformed, we’re going to have to keep dealing with pathogens in our paychecks. And that sucks. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play the NyQuil game.

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  • RobertaWaters

    what does it mean for Importance of Calling?
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  • KassandraDiller

    I do not mean for the Calling to anyone person?
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  • Sarah

    Myself and my coworkers aren’t paid for sick leave, and we work in the mental health field, so illnesses spread like wildfires. The simple fix would be paid sick leave, but you know this is why we can’t have nice things.