No sick days?

When did companies get the idea of not giving employees any days off for being sick?

Sure, it’s an old idea, in the 19th century before unions, God help you if you got sick or injured, you were canned, let alone being given the luxury of a paid day off. But I mean in the last few years, long after workers had gotten used to so many days of paid sick leave per year, it’s now starting to be revoked. What’s up with that?

I’m employed by a small company that is very nice in many respects, very cool about giving good deals to its employees and treating them like human beings. Only one thing about it I hate: No sick days. If you get sick, tough luck, you have to burn your vacation days. We don’t get any more vacation days than in other companies. I get sick about one day a month average. Which blows my vacation for the entire year. This BITES.

I’m not sure what thread this belongs in.
GQ: When did this start happening? Why?
GD: Companies who do this ought to give us back our sick leave instead of forcing us to work sick for their profit.
IMHO: This ever happen to you?
MPSIMS: I’m sick today but I gotta go in to work just the same!
The Pit: This bites syphilitic monkey dick!

That does suck. My personal theory on sick days is that they’re for hangovers. If I’m sick, I suck it up and go to work; I’m going to be feeling bad no matter where I am. If I have a real Tonka hangover, I call in sick.

However, I haven’t actually been sick in a couple of years. Even for someone who drinks and smokes as much as I do, and who eats Purina Bachelor Chow, and who is no longer the young pup he once was, I mysteriously NEVER get sick. [knock wood]

Have you checked with OSHA about this? Also you don’t say what you do, but if you’re in a profession with a union they would certainly have something to say about not having sick days.

My company uses PDO. Paid Days Off They don’t care why you are absent. The PDO comes out of the same bank. Why should the company seperate the sick days from the vacation days? Just because you scheduled one and not the other?

I like it. I get a lot of them.

PDO is better. If they used sick days, and I didn’t get sick all year(it happens), then I wouldn’t get to use that time.

I actually get 120 sick days a year. Of course we are strongly encouraged (to the point of affecting our raises) not to use any of them. If we use more than 2% of the year (about 4 days), it’s counted against us. For those that use zero sick days, they get entered in a raffle for a chance to win either $2500, $1000, $500, or a prime parking spot for a year.

I bet the odds are pretty good for that raffle. If we don’t use any sick days, we get an extra week of vacation the next year.

Actually the odds aren’t that good. We’ve got about 8,000 employees here, and around a 1,000 are usually eligible for the raffle. There are about 10 $2500 prizes (which become $5K if this is your second year in a row w/o sick days), about 25 $1000 prizes, about 50 $500 prizes, and about 25 parking spaces.

Of course everyone who doesn’t use sick days get a $25 credit at the company store.

I prefer the PDO method, I suppose, but honestly, don’t give me days off if you don’t want me to use them. That’s just a load of cack. If you give me days off, I’m going to use them. Why? Because I can, because I don’t live for your frickin’ company. If you don’t want me to use them, just tell me straight up that I’m not to leave the hive under any circumstances. Chain me to the desk. Be honest about it, not this crap about “Here’s four incredibly generous days of paid time off, but don’t use them or we’ll make frowny faces at you.”

I’ve been working for my current employer about 8 months now. I don’t get any paid leave, neither sick days nor vacation days, until I’ve been here for a year.

At the risk of turning this into a debate, why would OSHA care about sick time? AFAIK, sick time is part of your compensation package, the same as medical benefits, vacation time, holidays, ect. As much as I dispise most big companies, they certainly aren’t required* to pay you for time you aren’t working.

Being in a union helps if the contract specifies how much sick time the worker gets, which most do.

Homebrew, ugh, that bites worse than anything.

I stayed home today. I just couldn’t get out of bed this morning. I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea because I just started a new job last week. It would look bad. But screw it, there’s a limit to what I ought to force myself to go through with just for a job.

Union? Hardly anyone is in a union any more. Especially not tech contractors!

Working for the DoD, I get paid no matter what. There are no “sick days.” If you’re sick, and it’s not bad, you can usually get away with just calling in and telling whoever needs to know that you’re staying home. If it’s bad, though, you’ll need to go in to the base hospital and get checked out and permission to stay at home and recover.

I also get so much leave that I can’t use it. I’ve got almost 80 days racked up and no time to take it.

Thank goodness for sick days. As a government employee, I’ve got 'em.

The problem with PDOs is that one doesn’t necessarily have the same level of health from one year to the next. In the mid-1990s, I literally went for three years in between colds, at a time in my life when I was working harder than I ever have. OTOH, two years ago, I got a bad case of the flu, and had to miss a huge swath of time when it first hit, then some more time during the aftershocks. (Which have never completely gone away, but that’s another story.) It was a blessing to not burn up ‘vacation’ time when I was lying in bed feeling absolutely rotten.

It doesn’t bother me that I’ve only used a fraction of the sick leave that’s technically been mine over the years. Ideally, sick leave should be a safety net - something that’s there in sufficient quantity when an emergency strikes, but not something you normally make that much use of.

While there will always be a few abusers, I suspect that’s how most people use it when it’s there. I think getting rid of sick days is one of those things employers do because they can - there’s no unions and few laws to protect the worker, and they figure it’ll help the bottom line.

Practice with me now (if you have a phone receiver handy, pick it up and speak into it–lends to the authenticity of the exercise):

Listen and Repeat:

*Um… hello? Yeah, uh… this is spooje… I won’t be in to work today because… ohhhh… ohhh God…


Excuse me… where was I? Oh, yeah… I’m not feeling so good… I think I caught a bug when I was volunteering at the nursing home…*

Now you try. :smiley:

This just happened to me, give me your opinions.

I had been working at this company for 11 months and 1 week. Last year I borrowed vacation from this year (because like Homebrew we don’t get any until one year). Technically I had ZERO sick days last year. THEN, I had surgery on my hand on a Wednesday. They told me I could either do FMLA or use my vacation. Well, I worked OT to cover the first day. I THOUGHT I could go back in the day after…but was in TOO much pain. I returned on Monday. Then they tell me I can not use FMLA because I hadn’t been there a year ( my HR guy screwed up) (I would have postponed it a few weeks in that case) - and I can not use my vacation because I only have 7 days left for the year and at the end of the year we are shutting down for a week and we HAVE to use our vacation for that.

THEN- This is the good part. They made me sign a letter of commitment that I would not have ANY unscheduled absenses for the REST OF THE YEAR (this was in March). Nice huh? I would have been worried about my job until the turned around and gave me a raise this month. :smiley:

Sure, sick days lend themselves to certain abuses. But I’m willing to put up with a few problems here and there so that people who are shedding Ebola don’t feel obligated to come to work and give it to ME.

In my office, if you’re noticeably ill and came into work anyway, the boss gets really mad. Most of the people in our office have laptops - if you’re sick, but feel well enough to work, stay home and do it there.

I admire your boss, Winnowill. When our silly director first came on board, he actually walked around bragging about how he’d never missed a day of work, no matter how sick he was.
Yippee-skippy to you, bud, for giving more imortance to your inane bragging rights than the health of those around you.
Sure,you’re the boss, feel free to spread your nasty germs…
Of course, he often up and leaves midday to “go work out”, so this is not some chained-to-the-desk superethic, just his dumb idea of what dedication really is.
Anyway, we have sick days, and I use them if I’m sick. I don’t even know how many paid sick days I get. Doesn’t matter, since I’m not gonna milk them for other reasons. Way I see it, there are people, maybe me one day, who get ill, need surgery, get into an accident, etc. Generous sick policies, IMO, are an insurance policy against losing your job/funds in case something happens to your health. Abusing them just increases the likelihood that more places will be forced to yank them, and everybody loses out then.

A few years ago, the company where I work switched from sick days and vacation days to something called Timebank. We got several days added to our previous vacation days.

If we are sick for three days or less, it comes out of the Timebank (and thereby reduces our available vacation). If we are out more than three days but less than 6 months, we must get a doctor’s statement and must report to the company health center before returning to work. Then only the first 3 days of each illness comes out of Timebank, the rest being covered by the company’s short term disability system, which pays us full pay. Anything over six months is long-term disability, which pays 1/2 of normal pay (2/3 if you buy long-term disability coverage). If we save up too much Timebank, the excess gets cashed in at 75% of normal pay rate.

I can’t say I’m thrilled.