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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 16, 2013/ 5 Shevat, 5773

Flu epidemic exposes gaps in sick-leave policies

By Rekha Basu




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This year's flu epidemic has already overwhelmed hospital emergency rooms and claimed 20 children's lives. It could be better contained, not just by hand-washing and flu shots, but by tackling a glaring public policy gap: lack of sick leave.

We often hear about the workplace no-show problem known as absenteeism. But an even bigger problem in a flu-infested season like this one is what some are calling "presenteeism." That's when people show up for work when they shouldn't, because they're sick.

Those who do it are not necessarily compulsive about their jobs. They have no doubt heard the same warnings the rest of us have, to stay home. But many simply can't afford to. Nearly one-third of U.S. workers, or close to 42 million people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have no paid sick time off. Among part-time workers, only one in four has any.

This is an important but overlooked aspect of why influenza can so quickly reach epidemic proportions.

While absenteeism accounts for 22 percent of lost workplace productivity, "presenteeism" accounts for 78 percent, because sick workers infect others, according to the Center for Worklife Law at the University of California's Hastings Law School. That, it says, costs the U.S. economy $180 billion a year. In 2009, 5 million cases of the H1N1 flu resulted from a lack of paid sick days, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.

You would think that with such consequences, we would have tackled the problem at a national level. Yet the United States is one of the only developed nations that does not guarantee workers some paid sick leave.

By any measure, sick workers on the job are a problem. The National Partnership for Women and Families found that sick employees who come to work are half as productive as usual. It also estimates the medical costs for sick workers infected by their co-workers at $102.4 million a year.

Low-wage workers have it worst, and often with a ripple effect. An estimated 80 percent of them get no sick leave, and some are clustered in industries such as food service, where the spread of illness is high. According to the Partnership, 79 percent of food workers say they have no paid sick time.

A bill to require paid sick time off for employers of 15 or more people has repeatedly been introduced but failed to pass in Congress. Called the Healthy Families Act, it would require such employers to offer at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked -- for a maximum mandate of 56 hours in a year.

Last year, Iowa's Democratic senator, Tom Harkin, proposed the Rebuild America Act, with a provision guaranteeing all workers the right to earn up to seven sick days in a year. That, too, failed to get momentum.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research, which explores issues related to women and families, estimates that reducing just the spread of the flu in workplaces could save $738.5 million a year. Even if only to protect their bottom line, employers should be providing sick leave as a matter of course.

It would be one thing if there were credible fears of employees abusing their sick leave. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that most full-time private-sector workers don't even use all the sick leave they earned.

Some cities and one state are no longer waiting for the federal government to act. They're passing their own sick leave requirements. San Francisco, Seattle and the District of Columbia all have laws guaranteeing paid sick days, as does Connecticut.

That's fine as a stopgap measure. But a health crisis such as this one makes painfully clear that it is time for a federal standard. This is not just an employment issue but a public health one.

When more than 40 million private-sector workers have to weigh the cost of staying home when they get sick, because it could mean sacrificing meals, rent money or other essentials, they unwittingly put other employees at risk. This is one of those cases where companies clearly have to be pushed to do right, not just by their workers but by their own bottom lines.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Rekha Basu is a columnist for the Des Moines Register.


Previously:




12/26/12: Man-ufacturing mass-murders
11/21/12: We all pay for Thanksgiving Day shopping



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