WPR News
9:05 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

Staying home to deal with the flu won't work for everyone

Casper, Wy – The current plan in the state is to have those with the flu stay home to prevent a pandemic. But one group says for some low wage workers, that could be disastrous. If a low wage worker misses time to stay with a sick child or address their own health needs, the Equality State Policy Center's Dan Neal says the consequences could go beyond costing them money.
"The problem for some people, especially in these low paying jobs. If they take a day off, they get fired."
Neal says four out of five Wyoming workers do not have sick leave available through their jobs. State health officials say there has been a surge in the number of flu cases in recent days and that could continue. Neal says that is why his group continues to push for paid and unpaid leave policies to be available to all workers. Small business organizations oppose that effort saying it would cost them money.