About 46 million private workers do not have paid sick leave and risk termination for taking time off for illness or to care for a sick relative. According to reports from The Enquirer, federal health officials advise workers to stay home when they are ill, but there is no federal law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave.

As mentioned in the article: "Legislation in Congress that would require employers with at least 15 full-time workers to provide seven days of paid sick leave has stalled. About four of 10 private workers lack paid sick leave, according to the U.S. Labor Department. More than half the workers who earn less than $15 per hour do not have sick leave."

A janitor who receives only $7.50 commented that she had not missed a day of work in her three-year employment because staying home would mean she wouldn't get paid. She has worked with the flu, bloody noses, and fever, but can’t afford to stay home. Health officials comment that by going to work, these sick employees risk spreading their illness, and possibly disease, to other co-workers.

Supporters of legislation requiring paid sick leave claim that the move would save businesses an estimated $8 billion annually because it would keep workers from leaving to find jobs with better sick leave benefits.

Many business groups oppose the paid sick leave legislation. Some feel that this will lead to other government mandates that will be difficult on employers.

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