Federal, local workers encourage employers to support staff taking sick days as coronavirus spreads

Taking sick days is a luxury that not everyone can afford and isn’t even an option for some
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MADISON, Wis. — We all know that if we are sick we should stay home from work, but that’s easier said than done. Taking sick days is a luxury that not everyone can afford and isn’t even an option for some.

In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, local and federal health officials are encouraging businesses and employers to be more supportive of workers staying home sick.

“It’s definitely important to support sick staff to stay home rather than saying, ‘Hey, if you don’t show up all heck is going to break lose.’  We want employers to support their staff in staying home and getting better so they don’t come in and infect other people,” said John Hausbeck, of Public Health Madison and Dane County.

Hausbeck also recommends businesses think about ways workers can work remotely.

“Employers can start preparing their staff for ways to work from home, if there is an opportunity to do that,” Hausbeck said.

The CDC recommends that employers establish “non-punitive” policies to encourage employees who are sick or exhibiting symptoms to stay at home.