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Paid sick leave lowers risk of workplace injury

Many companies, in an effort to save money, do not offer employees paid sick leave because it can increase payroll expenses by 1.5 percent. In fact, there are over 40 million employees in the United States who currently have no paid sick leave. However, New York residents may be interested to learn that this might be changing thanks to the results of a new study.

The study, which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that employees with paid sick leave have a workplace accident rate that is 28 percent lower than employees without it.

Why such a difference? It is because workers who are sick often do not perform at their best. They feel pressured to come to work because, due to the state of the economy, they cannot afford to lose pay by staying home. Also, because of their illness, they may suffer from fatigue or may be on medications, which can contribute to a workplace injury.

New York City is currently considering a law that would force employers to provide a paid sick leave policy if they have five or more employees. Cities such as Washington, D.C. and San Francisco already require employers to provide paid leave and have seen many positive effects, such as lower turnover, higher productivity and increased morale.

For those injured on the job, workers' compensation is available. Workers' compensation is available from the employer to pay for the employee's workplace injury, including medical bills and income. It is in the employer's best interest to keep the number of workplace accidents low, as reports against them can increase their costs and make them liable for penalties for safety violations. Therefore, a paid sick leave policy may be a good choice for many companies.

Source: Sandiegoreader.com, "Study Finds Paying for Sick Leave Saves Employers Money," Michael Kinsman, Aug. 20, 2012

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